Montana's Johnson excels in press coverage

Posted Feb. 28, 2012 @ 10 a.m.
Posted By Nolan Nawrocki

Sixth of a six-part series

Each day during the Scouting Combine through Tuesday, we'll feature Nolan Nawrocki's in-depth scouting report of a top draft prospect.

CB Trumaine Johnson, #2
Montana | Grade: 5.85
Ht: 6-1 7/8 | Wt: 204 | Sp: 4.45e | Arm: 33 1/4 | Hand: 9 3/8

: Also lettered in basketball and track. Earned all-league honors his senior year at both quarterback and defensive back as a California prep. Made 11 starts in 2008 as a true freshman, posting 21 tackles, four pass breakups and four interceptions. Missed the last five games with a partially torn PCL in his right knee. Led the squad in pass breakups and interceptions in '09 after recording 54-12-5 with three tackles for loss in 11 starts. Did not play in four games — season opener against Western State (suspended), Sacramento State (concussion) and games against Idaho State and Northern Colorado (fractured right forearm). Had a healthy season in '10 and earned first-team All-America honors, making all 11 starts and logging 44-7-4 with 3 1/2 tackles for loss and half a sack. Was also used on offense, rushing twice for 11 yards and returning eight kickoffs for 178 yards (22.2-yard average). Started 13-of-14 games in '11, recording 54-12-2 with a forced fumble, six tackles for loss and a sack. Was arrested along with a teammate for obstructing a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest the morning after the Grizzlies' 28-24 road win over Northern Arizona on Oct. 22 in an alcohol-related incident in which he was tasered.

Positives: Rare size-speed ratio. Looks every bit the part with extremely long arms to hem receivers at the line. Very good leaping ability, body control and ball skills — makes acrobatic plays in the air highpointing the ball. Good coverage instincts and closing burst — jumps routes and shows awareness with his back to the ball. Carries a swagger and dominated Big Sky competition. Has the traits to move to free safety with a frame to easily stack on 10 pounds. Experienced four-year starter with kickoff-return ability.

Negatives: Has faced marginal competition and too often will play down to its level and coasts on his athletic talent. Questionable work habits and makeup — did not work in the classroom, has been described as "self-centered" and will require maintenance to keep him in line. Selective tackler and toughness — does not always bring it (although clearly will strike when he wants to). Slowed by injuries early in his career.

Summary: A long-limbed press corner with loose hips for his size, Johnson is extremely talented, can match up well against big receivers and has the size, ball skills and striking ability to potentially help at safety. Would benefit highly from a structured environment and demanding coach who will challenge him and hold him accountable. Has the tools to become a No. 1 corner if he can be managed properly and stay focused.

NFL projection: Top-50 pick.

Nolan Nawrocki's 2012 Draft Preview book, with scouting reports on approximately 500 prospects, will go on sale March 27 at bookstores everywhere. It also can be preordered at either individually or as part of a combo-pack with the 2012 Draft Guide magazine, which goes on sale March 6.