As the Arizona Cardinals prepare for the NFL Draft, we are going to hear news of different players working out with the team or the team attending players' pro days. The latest news is about a local guy -- Keelan Johnson, who grew up in Mesa, attending Mesa High School and Arizona State University. According to Fox Sports Arizona's Tyler Lockman, the Cardinals will be bringing him for a workout.
Former #ASU safety Keelan Johnson set to meet with Cardinals the week after next. @cmorgancbsfoxaz— Tyler Lockman (@TylerLockman) March 29, 2013
One of the positions the Cardinals need to address is at safety. They cut both Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes, brought back Rashad Johnson and signed Yeremiah Bell and Jonathon Amaya. Most expect team to draft a safety at some point, as there is a deep class of safeties.
Johnson is a physical specimen. He is 6-0, 210 pounds. He is fast, running in the 4.5 range for his 40 time and he can hit hard.
I saw him play in high school, as he attended where I worked. Physically, he has all the tools. For much of his time at ASU (where I am a season ticket holder), his career was marked with disappointment and unfulfilled potential. However, he did make improvements each year, until his senior year when he put it all together. He was named defensive captain (a big surprise to those that follow the team) and had 88 tackles, five interceptions and 13 passes defensed.
He is projected to be a late round selection, with the possibility of going undrafted. Physically, he has what it takes to play on Sundays. He was a slow learner, though, but broke through his senior season.
He also can play on special teams and has returned kicks.
He would not be a player to make an immediate impact. I would see him as Rashad Johnson, someone who would make a mark on special teams and would take time to develop, but would eventually be a playmaker. Clearly Arizona has some interest.
The Cards already have themselves a group of former Sun Devils. Three were on the practice squad last season -- linebacker Colin Parker and receivers Kerry Taylor and Gerell Robinson.
Could another Sun Devil be added to the mix? I wouldn't mind, especially since he has a track record of steady improvement. That is exactly the type of guy you want to get on Day 3 of the draft.
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