Vikings Draft Targets 2012: Cornerback/Safety Trumaine Johnson

Aaron Wilson of reports that the Vikings will be among several teams visiting with Montana defensive back Trumaine Johnson. Johnson is listed at 6-2, 204 pounds and ran a 4.50 forty at the combine. Here’s a quick scouting report cribbed from Pro Football Weekly:

A long-limbed press corner with loose hips for his size, Johnson is extremely talented, can match up well against big receivers and has the size, ball skills and striking ability to potentially help at safety. Would benefit highly from a structured environment and demanding coach who will challenge him and hold him accountable. Has the tools to become a No. 1 corner if he can be managed properly and stay focused.

Johnson was tasered and arrested along with a teammate during an incident on October 22nd and charged with obstructing a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He ultimately pleaded no contest to one of the charges and had the other two dropped. Johnson discussed the incident openly during interviews at the combine and believes he’s put it behind him. “I went in there and told the truth. You know, I had off-the-field issues. I was up-front and explained myself and was being honest with them,” Johnson said to reporters.

More than that one isolated incident, the concern about Johnson seems to be his general lack of work ethic. There’s enough there to put a big red flag on this guy. A team like the Vikings, who already have one cornerback with a ton of baggage in Chris Cook, might be extra sensitive to bringing on a player who has had his own run-ins with the law and coaches.

The pluses on Johnson are many. His physical talent is considerable. He may be more suited to a press coverage style but the consensus seems to be that he can play zone if he cleans up his technique. The reports I read say he’s a good tackler when he focuses. He will need refining no matter what. I don’t know if the Vikings would consider him in the early second round, especially if a guy like Dre Kirkpatrick or Alfonzo Dennard is still on the board, but if they miss out on a top defensive back in round 2, don’t be shocked if they go for Johnson with their 3rd should he still be there. They need secondary help and this guy’s ability is undeniable.

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