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Buffalo Bulls Pro Day - Najja Johnson

The walk-on worked his way into UB stardom, can he do the same at the NFL level?

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

National pundits are astounded when they realize that top linebacker Khalil Mack flew under every FBS radar as a high school student. Another under the radar Buffalo Bull developed his game and now has a chance to play in the NFL.

2013 13 39 35 4 0.5 9 3 1
2012 12 43 27 16 0.5 6 5 0
2011 12 39 31 8 1 15 1 0
2010 10 3 2 1 0 0 0 0
Totals 47 124 95 29 2 30 9 1

Najja Johnson was UB's most reliable corner and helped to give UB's aggressive front seven enough time to get to the quarterback. His positives are his ability to play the ball in short and intermediate routes, which showed up in his 30 pass break ups and 9 interceptions in his final three seasons. His negatives are his play of the ball downfield, and his tackling ability.

Johnson is currently ranked as the 48th best corner in the NFL draft, where on average 51 corners and safeties are chosen. Which puts Johnson squarely in the undrafted free agent pool. Johnson has a lot to prove at Pro Day.

The best thing Johnson could do is run fast and jump high. Former UB DB's Mike Newton and Josh Thomas made their name with fast times, Newton with a 4.5 and Thomas with a 4.43. The median 40 time at the combine was 4.51, so Johnson would want to be no slower than that. If Johnson can run 4.45 or less, it could make up for his deficiencies in covering the deep ball. Again the median vert jump at the combine was 35.5 inches, Najja would want to be above that as well.

Najja's greatest asset is his ball skills on intermediate routes, so his idea position would be nickel back in a zone cover scheme. Teams that need that skill would be teams facing constant intermediate pick routes predominantly used by the Patriots, Broncos and presumably the 2014 Houston Texans. As a result, I could see Najja getting serious looks from the Indianapolis Colts, the Miami Dolphins and the San Diego Chargers.