Carolina Panthers interested in Kentucky DB Lonnie Johnson
The Carolina Panthers are talking to the physical defender at the Combine.
The Carolina Panthers are determined to look at all positions and all prospects to improve their team. Let me just say that that is perfectly fine with me. I like the sound of that. That was the case on Sunday as according to a tweet from Marcel Louis-Jacques of the Charlotte Observer, the Panthers and Kentucky defensive back Lonnie Johnson Jr. met on Sunday.
Johnson recorded 23 tackles, a forced fumble, an interception, and four pass deflections last season. He was able to return the interception for 24 yards. His statistics were even better in the 2017 campaign as he recorded 41 tackles, 35 of the solo variety and five past affections. He also tallied a sack that year.
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His best game in the 2018 campaign came in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day. With Kentucky winning 27-24, Johnson played a big part in the win. He recorded four total tackles, including three of the solo variety. He also intercepted one pass and returned it 24 yards. In addition, a pass deflection capped off a tremendous day.
What could he bring to the Carolina Panthers? The answer to that is, he can do a little bit of everything. He is a hard-header, and opposing receivers better hold their breath. In addition, he possesses a great vertical that helps in the pursuit of interceptions. For the Panthers, I could see him fitting best as a physical corner who could come down and make the tackle. Carolina’s defense is ideally going to be more aggressive next season. Johnson would be a big part of that. Aggression is something that the Panthers have prided themselves on for years. In that respect, he would fit that mold perfectly.
With defensive backs Captain Munnerlyn and Mike Adams both out of the picture now, this would be a great pick for the Carolina Panthers. WalterFootball.com has Johnson as a third-round pick. The Panthers have two picks in the third round. One of them is 14th overall, and one of them is No. 100 overall. The second third-round pick was a result of the team losing Andrew Norwell in free agency.
Johnson would certainly fit the play style of the Carolina Panthers. Defensive back is not necessarily their top priority but if he is available in the later rounds, they should definitely take him. They need depth at the position as Donte Jackson is not going to be able to play every single snap. If they could land Johnson as a depth piece as a rookie, we could see the makings of a scary secondary for the Carolina Panthers.