Raiders: Can S John Johnson Be The Answer At Free Safety?

Could safety John Johnson be the difference maker that the Las Vegas Raiders desperately need in their defensive backfield?

A third-round selection by the Los Angeles Rams back in 2017, Johnson will be an unrestricted free agent. Much like the Raiders, the Rams will need to restructure themselves financially. This means Johnson might not return but Las Vegas surely won’t be the only organization calling for Johnson’s services. Former Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, now the Los Angeles Chargers head coach, could be another suitor.

Last year, Johnson had his best season in the NFL as the Rams’ defensive leader and on-field play-caller. Given how atrocious the Raiders’ pass defense has been, you’d think Johnson would be a priority. The Silver and Black desperately need leadership, coverage skills, and awareness in their backfield. Johnson checks off those boxes and we as all know, the Raiders will be in the market for a safety whether it’s via free agency or the NFL draft.

Related: Raiders Must Target This Pending Buccaneers Free Agent

What could Johnson bring to the Raiders?

Pairing Johnson with Johnathan Abram could give the Raiders a formidable duo at safety. The six-foot and 209-pound Boston College product had a career year leading the Rams defense. The unit was among the NFL’s best at defending the pass, giving up only 17 touchdowns and 3,051 passing yards. Los Angeles was ranked first in both of those categories with Johnson leading the defense.

Pro Football Focus grades Johnson’s coverage skills at 85.9 and 83.9 in defending the run for 2020. In addition, Johnson was targeted 68 times in pass coverage last year and surrendered 47 completions with zero touchdowns. Depending on how the Raiders’ salary cap looks like these coming weeks, Johnson should be on the list of targets.

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*Top Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

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5 thoughts on “Raiders: Can S John Johnson Be The Answer At Free Safety?”

  1. Why do you keep talking about pairing him with Abram? Abram was the WORST safety in the NFL, per PFF. He is a bust. The Raiders will be much better replacing Abram than replacing just about any player on the team, even though the other safeties, with the exception of Heath, all sucked. Find someone to pair with Heath, then you might have something.

  2. Good article Mario signing Johnson will free us up in the draft to fix our defensive line .I think we might want to double up in the first 3 picks at DT. I’m hoping we get Christian barmore in the first and then someone like ilam McNeil in the second or third he’s a nose tackle at 320 that can rush the passer as well or davion Nixon would be awesome but I don’t think he makes it to pick 48.but they’re are a few other DT’s that would pair nicely with barmore. And with the other of the first 3 picks I would grab an edge rusher like Joseph ossai or boogie basham. I think we only need one more linebacker right now . If someone like jabrill Cox is still there at pick 80 then we might need to take him. Littleton and nick K are going to be much better without guenther confusing everyone. And Abrams came in cocky at first but guenther didn’t help but I think Abrams has been a great player all his life and kind of needed the humility he got last year will make him a better NFL player with a good coach like Bradley….go RAIDERS

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