The Green Bay Packers have a crowded safety room for the 2023 season, but seventh-round pick Anthony Johnson Jr. out of Iowa State will be looking to stand out and carve out a role of his own as a rookie.
In a less-than-ideal safety class in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Packers opted to wait until the end of the three-day event to take a player at the position. While Johnson didn’t have the name recognition of some of the other prospects like Brian Branch or Jordan Battle, it was still a bit of a surprise to see him fall all the way to the seventh round.
Acme Packing Company’s Tyler Brooke broke down the coach’s film on Green Bay’s newest safety in the latest Packers Rookie Preview. While Iowa State’s defensive scheme can make it a bit trickier to evaluate defensive prospects, Johnson still put up enough impressive plays to earn a shot in the NFL.
0:15 - Intro
1:07 - Anthony Johnson Jr. bio/background
2:02 - Strengths
10:51 - Weaknesses
15:22 - Outro
Despite being a seventh-round pick, there’s quite a bit to like about Johnson. A former corner who converted to safety, Johnson has a good feel for coverage responsibilities as well as route concepts, allowing him to quickly read and react to plays happening in front of him.
While he shows impressive competitive toughness and a willingness to attack blockers and get after the ball carrier, there are some concerns about his overall size and play strength at the NFL level. If he’s able to add some more weight onto his frame going forward, there’s a legitimate chance he could compete with the likes of Darnell Savage, Rudy Ford, and Jonathan Owens for a rotational role at the safety position.