The Raiders have made their second Day 3 selection, and they once again elected to bolster their defense.
With the No. 27 pick in the fourth round, the Silver and Black selected Houston cornerback Isaiah Johnson.
Weight: 208 pounds
Selection: Fourth round (No. 129 overall)
Johnson has all the size, length and speed the Raiders covet from their cornerbacks. This converted receiver is considered a project, though he has tremendous upside that drew the Raiders to him in the fourth round. He’s relatively new to the position, having played receiver for two years in Houston.
He’s a solid press cornerback and can match routes well and recover from mistakes to decrease separation. He obviously has solid ball skills as a former receiver, and has some experience as a gunner.
“Johnson is one of the fastest players in the 2019 NFL Draft and displays the ability to flip his hips and unfurl his long legs to stay within arm’s-length of receivers,” said Dane Brugler, NFL draft analyst for The Athletic. “He doesn’t yet trust the fundamentals of the position and is currently a liability in the run game. Overall, Johnson has enticing height/length/speed traits, but he is raw and won’t see significant NFL snaps until he develops his route anticipation and body positioning, projecting as a high risk, high reward project.”
Johnson had a strong 2018, with 66 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes defensed for the Cougars.
Johnson is a relative novice technically, considering his defensive inexperience, so he’ll need time to develop. The Raiders can give him that, with plenty of cornerbacks to get the job done in 2018. Gareon Conley, Daryl Worley, Nevin Lawson and second-round pick Trayvon Mullen already are in the mix. The team’s on the hunt for long-term solutions at the position, and Johnson could be one if he works hard and progresses well.
What they’re saying
“I was a big film study guy so I studied formations studied route concepts - studied what people do and how they like to do it and that was a big thing for me especially in the fast conference that we had to you have to dissect and learn so fast what other people are doing to get a jump on it. I had to study and make sure I knew they were going to do before it happened,” -- Johnson, on how his experience as a receiver helps him at cornerback