When Jaylon Johnson came on the scene as a rookie, one thing I came to admire was his sense of fearlessness.
The Utah product found motivation in every cornerback taken before him in the 2020 NFL Draft. He was eager to square off against Julio Jones in his third game as a professional. And in his first matchup against Tom Brady, Johnson wasn’t shy to proclaim that he wasn’t afraid of G.O.A.T.s.
So as Johnson enters his second year as a pro, it should come as no surprise that Johnson didn’t flinch when discussing the upcoming matchup against Matthew Stafford and the Rams:
Jaylon Johnson is FEARLESS and I love it. Sound on. pic.twitter.com/3df88RowNF
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) September 9, 2021
Here’s what Johnson said in the video above, if you’re unable to listen/hear:
“Stafford is who he is. At the end of the day, he has his tendencies, he has the way he plays football, and he’s been doing it for a long time. So I don’t think he’s going to change now that he’s at a new team. Just being able to watch that old film and kinda see some of those tendencies, also what (Sean) McVay does as a play-caller and things like with the Rams, and just try to put two-and-two together.”
You need a special blend of pizzazz, swag, skill, and fearlessness to be an upper-echelon cornerback in the NFL. So even though Johnson has just 13 games of experience under his belt, he checks all those boxes to this point. There is a reason a certain level of faith exists in Johnson taking over CB1 responsibilities. And with an attitude like that, you can understand why it all makes sense as a thing that comes together in this way.
For what it’s worth, this isn’t Johnson talking out-of-pocket either. Peep the receipts from Week 1 2020, via Pro Football Focus:
⇒ 6 targets
⇒ 2 completions allowed for a total of 40 yards
⇒ 2 pass-breakups (including a game winner)
⇒ 57.6 passer rating in coverage
Yep! Johnson can bring out the receipts to back his talk. Because being fearless in coverage is one thing. But being savage behind a mic and having the stats that back it up is another. So, go get ’em, Jaylon! Confidence is good, but wins are even better.