NFL.com analyst Chase Goodbread reports that Kentucky cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr. “sensed a good connection” with the Chicago Bears during the formal interviews that took place last week.
But Johnson isn’t any run-of-the-mill Senior Bowl cornerback. Nope. If you let him tell it, he’s the best one entering the upcoming NFL Draft: “I feel like I’m the best corner in the draft. That’s what it is,” Johnson said. “I can tackle, I can cover, and some guys at my position don’t even want to tackle. I stood out. I’m 6-3, I’m 210 pounds, and I’m going to run 4.4 at the combine, so y’all can take it from there.”
Oh, you better believe we’ll take it from here, good sir. Because so long as the Bears are facing Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Kirk Cousins six times a year, you better believe our interest in the draft’s top cornerback is going to be higher than high. Especially one who can cover, tackle, and run a fast time in the 40-yard dash.
In any case, Johnson collected 64 tackles, three tackles-for-loss, a sack, 12 pass breakups, two blocked kicks, and a forced fumble the last two seasons at Kentucky. That’s a nice collection of stats for a player who appears to have a little jack-of-all-trades in him and no shortage of confidence. HOWEVER, he has just one interception under his belt. But still … to have the confidence to boldly proclaim you’re the best corner in the draft means you have some kind of gumption. And frankly, I like that kind of swagger in a player.
In the end, it’s swell news if the Bears have “the best corner in the draft” on their radar. After all, they could be in the market for a cornerback depending on what happens with free-agent-to-be Bryce Callahan. But if Johnson’s bite is as good as his bark, then it’s possible he won’t be on the board when the Bears get on the clock in Round 3.