Soon after the league and players lock hands, raising them in front of millions upon millions of flashing bulbs with wide smiles as a form of peace and unity -- July 17th as a possible date -- the league will go into a shotgun mode unlike anything we've ever seen. Teams will have a period to sign their own free agents, as well as undrafted free agents. ESPN's AFC North Blogger James Walker writes that Boise State safety Jeron Johnson could be a good fit.
A hard-hitting safety with a lot of college experience, Johnson was projected to go in the fifth or sixth round but was overlooked. He is a solid tackler who has a chance to earn a backup job and help right away on special teams.
Even though they drafted Robert Sands in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Bengals still have a shortage of safeties. After Chris Crocker and Reggie Nelson, expected starters, the Bengals have Jeromy Miles under contract with Tom Nelson likely remaining as an exclusive-rights free agent (think special teams). Roy Williams, who only played 16 games over the course of two seasons, isn't expected to return. Gibril Wilson and Marvin White are free agents and Chinedum Ndukwe could be an unrestricted free agent.
According to ESPN's Draft Profile, Johnson posted impressively above average production with quality intangibles that includes the All-WAC Academic team in 2008 and 2009.
Flashes above-average man-to-man cover skills and can mach up with slot receivers. Above-average hip fluidity and changes directions quickly. Can open up and run with receivers when walks up to the line of scrimmage. Closes well and flashes the ability to deliver the big hit in coverage. Not as effective in zone coverage. Adequate range and can cover deep half of the field but gives receivers too much of a cushion and lacks ideal recovery speed.