Player No. 2
Antonio Johnson - DB/S
Drafted By: Jacksonville Jaguars (Fifth Round, Pick No. 160)
The Vikings went heavy on defense in the 2023 draft, including two picks in the defensive secondary.
Jay Ward was selected with the 134th overall pick in the fourth round by Minnesota. He completed his rookie year with zero starts and eight tackles.
Instead of taking Ward, the Vikings could have set themselves up for a bright future with Antonio Johnson.
Johnson, who was an All-SEC selection in 2021 and 2022 for Texas A&M, started three games and played in 13 for the Jaguars in 2023.
He had 17 combined tackles, including 13 solo tackles, and one sack. Johnson also collected two interceptions for 50 yards, along with three pass breakups and forced one fumble.
His best game was a Week 14 tilt against the Cleveland Browns when he had two tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, and one pass defended.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Johnson is already turning into one of the best young safeties in the NFL.