The Athletic places former Aggies Safety Antonio Johnson on their 2023 NFL ‘All-Draft Pick Team’

During the 2023 NFL Draft, there was a remarkable story surrounding the former Texas A&M safety Antonio Johnson. Despite being considered a second or third-round pick by many draft experts, he unexpectedly fell. He was ultimately selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round as the 160th overall pick. The Athletic deemed the Jaguars as brilliant for selecting the versatile player from East St. Louis, Ilinois.

In an article by writers Diante Lee and Nick Baumgardner, both combined their favorite picks during the Draft at every position, selecting 22 players that will make some impact as soon as the 2023 NFL season. Coming in last but not at all least, Johnson, alongside former Alabama safety Jordan Battle, is very close to being a perfect fit with the Jaguars.

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The Jaguars needed depth and a future contingency for Rayshawn Jenkins as he approaches his age-30 season. Johnson is a good fit.

His game is a throwback to the strong-safety archetype of old: a true thumper in run support and a good tackler. Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell can use more dependable players around the second level, and Johnson fits well in a defense that can blitz from all angles and likes to play zone. There won’t be instant gratification, but I trust that Jacksonville will be happy to have Johnson grow into a future role.

Lee and Baumgarder noted Johnson’s deficiencies without stating them in a specific fashion, as his overall lack of off-the-chart athleticism and “old school” play style as a player who thrives close to the line of scrimmage most likely scared several teams away. Yet, his overall fit with defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell is all that matters from a scheme perspective.

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Story originally appeared on Aggies Wire