Archive for the ‘Arizona State’ Category

As captain, Keelan Johnson had the privilege on several occasions to plant the pitchfork in the field after a victory

The Mesa, AZ native was originally recruited by Arizona State to play wide receiver but moved to the defensive side of the ball before his first start for the Sun Devils. In his four years on varsity, Johnson recorded 8 interceptions which is the second most in school history since 2000. Johnson was a captain for the past two seasons so he has experience leading a secondary. In his senior season, Johnson had a career high 5 INTs, some of which came in clutch situations, i.e. vs. Arizona. Johnson also had a forced fumble in that game vs. Arizona that sparked an ASU victory. CBS Sports named Johnson to the first team All-Pac-12 All-Conference team as a senior.

Johnson after picking off Arizona QB Matt Scott in the 2012 Territorial Cup

Johnson is a big safety at over 6 feet and around 210 pounds. He is an extremely physical but heady football player who tends to over pursue at times. With his experience as a defensive captain at ASU, Johnson will probably have the smarts and ability to lead a secondary at the next level, though not right away. Johnson isn’t overly fast, but his size and physical play should translate well in the NFL at the strong safety position. Johnson can play the run as well as the pass which is something teams look for in a SS. Johnson reminds me somewhat of fellow Pac-12 football alum Patrick Chung; although Johnson is bigger than Chung, both of their strengths seem to be in the run game.

Johnson would contribute on any team looking to add some physicality and size to their defensive backfield. I believe Johnson could even come on the field in nickel situations, to cover or even blitz. Johnson recorded one sack and 3.5 tackles for loss while at ASU.

Johnson should probably go somewhere after the middle of the third round but could be a potential sleeper pick as he can only help his stock at the upcoming combine and at his pro day (ASU’s pro day is scheduled for March 8th).

–Follow me on Twitter @bill_slane

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