According to a report from ESPN Insider Adam Caplan, the Philadelphia Eagles have met with North Carolina State cornerback Dontae Johnson. The Eagles also showed specific interest in Johnson at both the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine.
The 22-year-old senior stands tall at 6-2, 200 lbs. Johnson finished his career at NC State with 200 total tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 3 interceptions, 15 passes defensed, and 1 forced fumble.
Johnson seems to fit what the Eagles like in their defensive backs: both long, athletic, and physical. The cornerbacks the Eagles have acquired since Chip Kelly arrived in Philadelphia fit this profile. Look no further than Cary Williams (6-1), Bradley Fletcher (6-0), and Nolan Carroll (6-1). It also explains why Brandon Boykin (5-10) may not be getting a chance to play on the outside.
Johnson scouting report via BGN's Mike Kaye. Mike notes that a position change to safety is not out of the question.
Johnson has excellent size and speed for both cornerback and safety. Experienced in every aspect of the secondary, Johnson could eventually compete at all four positions. He is a feisty player that can be aggressive in coverage. He can play off and press man coverage, but mostly played off at NC State. He has good hips and breaks well on the ball. He will wrap up as a tackle and will help against the run. He is very vocal on the field and seems to have solid instincts. He also uses his height well in coverage and has speed to stay even with faster wide receivers.
He does tend to shoulder tackle every now and then, which causes him to whiff at times. He was badly beaten by Sammy Watkins against Clemson this past season and part of that has to do with how far he plays off at times. He has a tendency to give too much cushion in coverage, which allows for easy receptions. He can get lost in coverage and be hesitant to make a play at times. He is a bit timid with the ball in the air at times.
Johnson is similar to Williams actually. He has length, is feisty and can play in off or press man coverage. The Eagles will clearly love his size and he is a good developmental player with starter potential. He was on tape with Earl Wolff just one year ago, so the Eagles likely are very aware of him. He could be a nice fourth or fifth corner for next season and would be probably be valuable on special teams. The Eagles could also use him as a backup safety as well. With his coverage ability, he could be an asset and a play-maker at that position.
Lastly, a look at Johnson's spider graph. Note that he is being compared to other safeties, not cornerbacks. Johnson recorded the fastest 60-yard shuttle time of all cornerbacks at the NFL combine this year.
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