Raiders

Raiders 2020 Rewind: Is Isaiah Johnson The Future?

What does the future hold for Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Isaiah Johnson who shined for a few moments in the 2020 season?

A fourth-round selection two years ago, Isaiah Johnson didn’t really see the field in his rookie campaign. Due to COVID-19 and injuries to the defensive backfield, however, the sophomore saw increased playing time in 2020. In fact, his snap count went from 14 to 181, though he has yet to start a game.

Pro Football Focus broke down Johnson’s snap count, he played 126 back in coverage, posting a 35.7 grade. On the other hand, Johnson played 52 snaps on run defense and posted a noteworthy 77.3 grade. From a preparation standpoint, it served him well to line up against the likes of Henry Ruggs III last year. In a highlight that made the rounds, Johnson displays form and discipline while covering the wideout. The Houston product doesn’t look back, which is critical as a cornerback, coming up with a clean interception using his length and hands.

Related: Raiders get safety help in the first round of PFF’s latest mock

The Numbers Paint A Positive Trend For The Raiders’ Corner

Statistically, Johnson’s numbers paint a positive trend for the Raiders moving forward. In those aforementioned snaps, he accumulated four passes defensed, 13 total tackles, and blitzed three times.

In pass coverage, Johnson was targeted 21 times, giving up 13 passes for a 61.9 completion percentage. While he only averaged seven yards per time when targeted, Johnson surrendered two touchdowns. However, he did have some big moments though none bigger than in the Raiders’ Week 9 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

With Gus Bradley bringing in his Cover 3 defense, it will be interesting to see how he utilizes Johnson next year now that he’s had some playing time. If plays like the one below are any indication, the corner’s versatility will be invaluable as he lines up anywhere in the backfield.

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*Top Photo: Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

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Biglar

Johnson’s been either injured or unproductive since he was drafted. He’ll get another shot this season, but I’m not optimistic. My guess is the Raiders draft a safety in the first few rounds to replace some combination of Abram, Harris, Johnson. The only safety who played reasonably well last season was Heath. Everyone else was absolutely atrocious. Abram was rated by PFF as the absolutely worst safety in the league, which is quite an achievement. So I won’t mourn the loss of any of these players, especially Abram whose lack of discipline was a great asset for the other team.… Read more »