I have seen Trumaine Johnson's name pop up several times in the last few weeks so I figured I would write a post about him. I am in a unique position in that I live in Missoula, MT and have seen every game Trumaine Johnson has played at the collegiate level. I have not missed a Griz home game since 1996 so I wanted to give you guys some information and analysis that you can't find in his small sample of youtube highlights. I will make it known that i am a huge Griz Nation homer so i will try to be as objective as possible. I will begin with bullet points and sum it all up at the end. Here we go!!!
Size: He is a big freaking corner. He was at 6ft 2in and 204lbs at the combine. He has played as high as 215. The kid is a freaking tank. He would have no problem matching up with the size of NFL wideouts.
Strength: With that size comes some power. He likes to play press coverage and I have seen him on multiple occasions pancake his man at the line of scrimmage. He cannot be blocked by wideouts effectively because he can simply overpower them. He is a very willing tackler and can absolutely drop the hammer on running backs and wide receivers when he breaks on the play.
Play Style/Scheme Fits: Trumaine absolute loves press coverage. He started as a Freshman and played almost exclusively press coverage until his Junior year when we had a coaching change that shifted towards a more zone coverage based defense. They still allowed Tru to play man about half the time. By his senior year we had shifted to a man/zone hybrid defense and he played almost exclusively press coverage again. When we did use him in zone, we had him shift to an almost C-Wood like safety in the box position. He is very good at diagnosing plays in zone which you can see a bit of in youtube highlights. Trumaine is an exceptional blitzer.
Mean Streak: He is always freaking angry!!! He literally seeks to take his opponents will to compete away. He talks trash and he backs it up. He does end up in some echo of the whistle scrums from time to time but he rarely crosses the line and takes a penalty. He physically beats on his man until they no longer want to run their routes anymore.
Production: Numbers do speak for themselves but I would simply like to point out that by his Senior season people rarely threw at his side of the field.
Character Concerns: He has been considered a diva by some. He was the best player on a FCS school and he knew he was a next level talent. By his Junior season reports of this had diminished considerably but were still there. Tru also missed a few games due to academic ineligibility concerns.
Legal Concerns: He and one of our running backs got into a skirmish at a party with a couple of police officers and Trumaine ended up being arrested. He did have to appear in court but i do not believe he was charged and i honestly could not find anymore info in a quick search before this post. That has run its course and i have not heard any draft analysts even bring it up to be honest.
I believe Trumaine fits as a Packer. I believe the question is where. As stated before, he loves press coverage and we have used him as essentially a third safety in the box or C-Wood role. That could point to him as a logical heir apparent to Mr. Woodson. He likes to blitz from the line of scrimmage and has no problem laying people out. Several analysts have projected him to play safety at the next level. I believe he would make a good free safety, but i believe his press coverage skills are his greatest asset. Ted Thompson or another NFL GM may see things a bit differently and think his range and ball skills make him an excellent choice at safety in the NFL. If it were any team other then the Packers I would say Safety is a logical place for him, but due to his unique size and skill set I would rather see him as the heir apparent to C-Wood.
Well, there ya guys go. I would like to summarize by saying that as a Homer nothing would make me happier than Trumaine being a Packer, but i am in no way advocating his selection or saying we should pick him if he falls to us and we stay put at the end of round 2. My intent is to inform, not to convince. I hope you guys have found this in some way useful. Go Pack Go!!!