Dallas Cowboys FS Prospect: Dontae Johnson

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Continuing my ongoing series “The Guys No One Is Talking About” I move on to the Free Safety Position. Dontae Johnson saw action in all 51 games of his college career and started the final 26. He amassed 200 tackles, 9 TFL, 4.0 sacks, 3 interceptions and had 15 PDEF’s. He is very versatile and has experience playing CB, Nickel Back and Safety. He also saw action as a returner his freshman year.

Dontae Johnson 1

Will all of the players I profile in this series become Pro Bowl players or even solid starters in the NFL? Absolutely not. Some may become solid special teams guys, backups, or not make final cuts in training camp. However, for those of you who are familiar with the series, you know many have gone on to have solid careers in the NFL. This series is about getting these guys some recognition.

Dontae Johnson 4Dontae Johnson, CB/FS

Height | Weight: 6-2   199

College: North Carolina State

40 time: 4.55

Grade: 80 | Round: 3-4

Official Senior Bowl North Team Bio

2013 (SENIOR): Led the team in interceptions with three for the year …Ranked second on the team in tackles with 82 for the season, he led the team in solo stops … Moved back to safety following the injury to Jarvis Byrd – he played that position as a freshman and sophomore … Served as a team captain vs. LaTech, Syracuse and UNC.

Dontae Johnson2012 (JUNIOR): Moved to cornerback in the preseason after playing safety last year, he moved to the slot when the Pack brought in its nickel package … Matched up against the ACC’s leading receiver, Mike Campanero, in the win over Wake Forest, he held him to five catches for 14 yards … Named the ACC Defensive Back of the Week for that performance … Teamed with David Amerson to make up the tallest pair of starting CBs in the country … Had a huge game in the win over No. 3 Florida State, with six tackles and a 15-yard sack.

2011 (SOPHOMORE): The Pack’s nickel back, he started two games at linebacker when the Pack was in a 4-2-5 lineup … Earned the starting nod in the wins over No. 7 Clemson and the regular season finale versus Maryland … Saw action in every game of the season, playing a season-high 58 stops in the Clemson victory … Tallied three sacks for the season, all came in the last four games … A member of the university’s Pack’s Pact Program, which encourages campus leadership and networking.

Dontae Johnson2010 (FRESHMAN): Backup at the field safety spot, he saw action in every game but the Florida State contest … In for a season-high 62 snaps at East Carolina, his eight tackles in that contest were also his best … Started the win over Boston College, he was one of just five true freshmen to get the starting nod in 2010.

HIGH SCHOOL: Played safety for coach Jerry Eure at Pennington Prep … Considered the sixth-best prospect in the state … A first-team New Jersey all-prep performer … Recorded 108 tackles, six interceptions and three forced fumbles during his senior campaign … Pulled down 50 passes for 600 yards and 13 touchdowns as a receiver … Had 100-yard kickoff return for touchdown … Also played AAU basketball for Team NJABC … A sport management major.

Dontae Johnson 3

Film Study

  • Dontae Johnson has good height and length and is extremely athletic. He was recruited to play both basketball and football. He has quick feet and elite lateral moving ability. (Basketball players usually do).
  • Dontae Johnson has fluid hips and a nice pedal. He has receiver-like ball skills (he played WR in high school), soft hands and tracks the ball well. He has the closing speed to cover sideline to sideline. He is a very rangy player. He is a willing and physical run defender who isn’t afraid to come up and lay the wood. However, he needs to improve his tackling technique: get a little lower and wrap up more consistently.
  • Dontae Johnson played power forward in basketball and boasts a 34″ vertical jump which makes him a good red zone defender: especially in the endzone. He moves well in traffic and as a former basketball player he is good at winning the jump ball battles. He adjusts well to low and wide throws despite his tall stature.
  • Dontae Johnson closes quickly on the ball when in off coverage and against east west runs. Will pop receivers and runningbacks to try and dislodge the ball. He does a nice job of working through receiver blocks with strong hands and quickness.

The Dallas Cowboys could use some depth at the Safety position, but can’t afford to use a high draft pick due the glaring needs on the offensive and defensive lines.

Dontae Johnson has all of the intangibles to be a good center fielder at the next level. He matched up well against the ACC’s leading receiver, Mike Campanero as a junior: he held him to five catches for only 14 yards. Dontae Johnson doesn’t possess the elite straight line speed I look for in a CB at the NFL level which is why I projected him as a FS. However, I believe he could line up in the slot if needed there in a pinch. He is still a little raw and needs to improve his tackling (the bigger more physical receivers at the next level will break them if he goes too high) so I am only putting him in the 3rd to fourth round. He could also stand to gain about 5-10 more pounds of muscle. If I were to make and NFL Comparison it would be a young Kam Chancellor. Mainly because of his physical style of play.

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  • californy

    here my Pick for FS this year Ed Reynolds Stanford FS.
    As A Senior. He is being projected to have 4.54 40 speed also.

    Third on team with 87 tackles (56 solo), 1.0 tackle for loss, one interception, four pass breakups
    As A Junior

    • School-record three interceptions returned for a touchdown
    • First nationally with 301 interception return yards
    • One yard short of NCAA single-season record for interception return yards

    • Son of Ed and Pamela Reynolds
    • Father played football at Virginia and professionally for the New England Patriots (1983-91) and New York Giants (1992)

    The pro and Con on Ed reynoldshttp://www.ganggreennation.com/2014/1/20/5324968/scouting-the-draft-ed-reynolds-fs-stanford https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyFc1S6kdtI

  • californy

    i like your player Cowgirl, I like the fact he can play the slot and most likely take the best WR in coverage

    • Thank you. He’s a baller. That’s for sure

      • amann

        hey cowgirlcas22 & californy honestly do you see cowboys in superbowl 49?

        • Gabriel Carrasco

          I know you were referring to Cas and Forny, anything is possible, but our chances of getting there are decreased as Jason Garrett is the HC. If we get there, you would have to draft at least 2-3 defensive guys at least 2 on the line that can start and be significant improvements from last year. The 3 you would hope to be a LB, S, or another D lineman. And you need another OG, leaning towards Gabe Jackson. Anything can happen, but you would need those guys there. Otherwise, I don’t think you can compete with the 49ers or Seahawks.

        • i wont even consider answering that until I see what happens in the draft and free agency

  • californy

    I like the fact he play basketball to, that tell me he has some stamina. The jumping ability would be important in goal line situation

  • californy

    Ed Reynolds also has some jumping in his background being a former triple jumper in HS

  • californy

    here another top FS in the Draft Calvin Pryer form Louisville http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjDx1ysE7lw

  • Gabriel Carrasco

    They do have some good football players at FS this year. You just have to be careful and not fall into the hype machine of the media promoting HaHa Clinton Dix. Ed Rynolds and Calvin Pryor are good guys. Reynolds is a 2nd-4th round pick, and Pryor is a 1st-2nd round pick. I like the fact that this Johnson kid is 6’2″.

    • californy

      I have Reynold coming off at the end of round 2 to 3rd rd grade.

    • I like tall physical safeties that can cover

  • Gabriel Carrasco

    If I had it my way, I would move Barry Church to LB, he showed me he has the ability to take on a full grind of in the box duties throughout the season. He can tackle and I think he could fit at LOLB. I would then have Lee at MLB and have Carter and Holloman duke it out for the ROLB position, all this changes if we draft a LB, but I would still move Church to LB. I would draft a FS like Johnson, Rynolds, or Pryor and then move Wilcox to SS.

    • californy

      I had mention the moving of McCray this year, he was 2rd on the team in tackles in 2012, He also run a 4.42 40 speed

    • californy

      Im not sold on Wilcox, I heard he a good hitter but there no highlights showing any good hits. I haven’t seen him covering anyone to tell me he a good safety.

  • Gabriel Carrasco

    This is the Dallas Cowboys we get enough flags as is, we can’t afford to have a S knock someone’s head off.

    • lol he pretty much never got flags

      • Gabriel Carrasco

        He didn’t play for the Cowboys though, the refs hate our team.

        • this could be the next woodson! It’s worth the risk

          • Gabriel Carrasco

            Darren Woodson and Larry Allen in the same draft would be nice.

          • Gabe and Johnson? hmmmm

  • Gabriel Carrasco

    Cas can he play TE, if he can’t, then I don’t want him, Jerry says we draft TE, and I believe what Jerry says.

  • Gabriel Carrasco

    I like your guy Max Bullough, but I am leaning more towards Al’s player at Christian Jones, because I really want a coverage linebacker, that is where we were really weak.

    • I actually like Jones better too.

      • David Vick

        Would your head explode if they took Clinton-Dix 1st? They always do something unexpected for me, and from a month ago I predicted they will take Mosley and move Carter to Sam. We need DL so they naturally take a LB 🙂

        • Gabriel Carrasco

          Depends on the LB, I have a philosophy to take only O line, D line, and LB in the first, QB as well, if I see them as good. Just my opinion. Dallas has done semi well drafting O line in the first, I wouldn’t be disappointed if they went that route, as long as it is the right guy.

  • Gabriel Carrasco

    Everyone wants a freaking WR to replace Miles, I hate that idea so much. Talking about they need a number 3 who can take over number 2 is someone gets hurt.

  • Gabriel Carrasco

    I am going to investigate Mizzou they are just churning out those players like nothing right now, Aldon Smith, Sheldon Richardson, Kony Ealy, Michael Sam, and they have a WR this year.

  • Lionone1

    If Telvin Smith is on the board i want him. He’s got the height, speed, length, motor and body you can add or lose weight depending on the position you want him to play. He’s all over the field