- AProjectionRound 2
- Hand9 ¼
- Arm30 ⅞
Strong Points: Good safety size. Feet, speed and suddenness of a corner. Asked to play a lot of man coverage last season -- and played it well. Instinctive with very good anticipation skills. Very good in run support -- takes on and sheds blocks and is a sure tackler. Good zone player with good receiver awareness.
Weak Points: Need verified measurables. Plays too soft in off coverage, giving the receiver too much cushion.
The Way We See It: Gardner-Johnson impressed while playing back as a traditional safety in 2017, showing instincts, range and ball skills. However, under a new coaching staff last season, he played more like a nickel corner, often lining up over an inside receiver. He has good man-cover skills -- more of an off guy than a press corner -- and for the most part is consistent in coverage. Gardner-Johnson plays an aggressive game, discarding blockers and forcing the run. He will be a deep safety in the NFL, easily capable of matching up with most tight ends. Has some positional flexibility but probably best suited at strong. Very solid Day 2 selection.