Our rookie scouting reports combine film and analytics to provide the best possible predictions for player performance. With the 2023 NFL Draft right around the corner, let’s take a look at the scouting report for Iowa State safety Anthony Johnson Jr.
Anthony Johnson Jr. NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Saftey
- School: Iowa State
- Year: Fifth-Year Senior
Johnson was a three-star recruit out of St. Petersburg High School in St. Petersburg, Florida. He received a few offers from other FBS schools but elected to play college football at the only Power Five program to make him an offer: Iowa State.
Johnson was thrown into the fire immediately as a freshman. He played in 11 games, recording 28 total tackles and five passes defended.
Beginning in his sophomore year, Johnson played at least 12 games in every season. As a sophomore, he amassed 60 total tackles, two sacks, and 10 passes defended.
As a junior, Johnson registered 42 total tackles and five passes defended. In his senior year, he posted 55 total tackles, one sack, and four passes defended.
Johnson’s college career should’ve been over, but he chose to exercise his extra year of COVID eligibility, returning to school for a fifth year. In his final campaign, he posted similar numbers to his previous outing, recording 60 total tackles, one sack, two interceptions, and four passes defended.
Overall, Johnson finished his college career with 164 solo tackles, 81 assisted tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, and 28 passes defended.
Tony Pauline’s Scouting Report for Anthony Johnson
Strengths: Tough, run-defending safety who flashes ability against the pass. Aggressive, punishes opponents, and delivers crushing blows. Immediately diagnoses plays, works hard to defend passes, and fires upfield against the run.
Effective facing the action, has a burst to the ball out of his plant, and displays closing speed to get to the action laterally. Has experience at cornerback. Fluid pedaling in reverse and smooth flipping his hips in transition.
Weaknesses: Plays to one speed. Does a lot of holding and grabbing over the slot receiver. Slow getting his head back around and faceguards.
Overall: Johnson was productive and consistent for Iowa State, but he lacks next-level athleticism. He needs to brush up on his coverage techniques but has enough ability to be used as a zone safety.
Anthony Johnson Jr. Combine Measurements and Results
- Height: 6’0″
- Weight: 205 pounds
- Arm Length: 31 1/4″
- Hand Size: 8 3/4″
- Bench Press: 12
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.54
Iowa State S Anthony Johnson Jr. Current Draft Projection
On Tony Pauline’s Big Board, Johnson ranked 218th overall and is projected to go in the sixth round. With a 3.34 grade, he is Pauline’s SAF35 in this class.
It’s been an unconventional road for Johnson. The best NFL prospects are typically early declares. Johnson spent five years in college. It goes without saying that doesn’t bode well for his NFL prospects.
College production is the most predictive indicator of NFL success. Johnson played immediately as a freshman and was a key part of the defense all five years. That’s a positive for him. The negative is he wasn’t a shutdown defender or overly dominant.
Johnson did all he could, maxing out his years of college eligibility, but it may not have been enough to get him drafted. He is the last safety on Pauline’s board to be projected to get drafted.
It’s hard enough for Day 3 picks to succeed. As a fifth-year senior who may or may not be drafted, Johnson has a lot working against him.
Based on Pauline’s grade, Johnson should be good enough to at least get a shot on an NFL team. But his ceiling is likely that of a rotational depth player. Merely making a roster should be considered a success for him.
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