Class Year: Junior
Height – 5’11” Weight – 207 lbs
Gardner-Johnson is a versatile safety who can play at nickel corner as well as free safety. His physicality and tackling improved immensely in 2018. He is rarely beaten by an opponent over the top and has great range when attacking the ball. His size makes him a perfect fit for any NFL team in need of a no-nonsense defender. He defends best in man coverage but does fine in zone.
His 2017 tape is ordinary, like really bad. He turned that around last season and will only get better. There is only a couple of issues with his game. Sometimes he seems a little late to read the play or recognize patterns. He can be inconsistent at times through his college career. Both of these weaknesses will be ironed at the NFL level.
#23 Gardner-Johnson makes a good low tackle to stop the attacker.
There is a lot to like about Gardner-Johnson. He is probably the most NFL ready safety in the class. He had a not so impressive year in 2017 but turned that around in 2018 and could go as high as late in the first round. He is only going to continue to grow into a better player and will fit into an NFL right away. The future is bright for this kid and whichever franchise picks him up in the draft.
With athleticism like his, if he tests well at the NFL Combine, the opinions of suitors will be endless. There is a lot of upside to this guy.