Chauncey Gardner-Johnson – DB, Florida
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson has a rising draft stock despite not having a concrete position in the secondary. But, that shouldn’t hinder him from being drafted high and making an impact in the NFL.
Standing at 5-foot-11 and 210-pounds, some will fall in love with his size as a cornerback. Others will see his range, zone coverage ability, and 4.48 second 40-yard-dash and immediately think free safety. Others will then see his blitz skills, tackling, and hard-hitting demeanor and put him as a box safety, or you can see his potential as a slot defender as he has a history of success covering big slot receivers, tight ends, and running backs.
He’s really that versatile, and he showed that at Florida. Pro Football Focus graded his 2018 season at 87.8, which is one of the highest amongst defensive backs. His 52.5 passer rating allowed, three interceptions, 56 total tackles, and 27 run stops all in ’18, per PFF, have a lot to do with that good grade.
Gardner-Johnson has the potential to be a top 50 pick in the draft and maybe higher, and it’s no fluke as to why. Combine his versatility, improving game, and solid combine performance and Gardner-Johnson has the potential to be a real playmaker in the secondary no matter his position at the next level.
The Arizona Cardinals should be interested in the Florida prospect as the best player available option rather than one to fill an immediate team-need. Although, he would instantly fill a need at slot defender. I expect Gardner-Johnson to be available at No. 33 simply because of his lack of position and inconsistencies in the past.