Developmental players don’t always work out. That’s probably the case with Robert Johnson, who enters training camp as the sixth or seventh option at safety. For most of his first two seasons, Johnson was either on the practice squad or learning behind safeties such as Michael Griffin, Chris Hope and Jordan Babineaux. In 2012, he rotated in and out of the starting lineup with a struggling Babineaux.
Not much was expected from Johnson when he was drafted. Here was a snippet of his pre-draft scouting report from New Era Scouting:
Johnson was an under-the-radar talent for the Utes. In his three years, he finished with 155 tackles, 13 pass breakups and 13 interceptions.
He played free safety at Utah, often dropping back in deep coverage. He showed in 2009 that he can play closer to the line of scrimmage, notching 29 more tackles than he did the previous year.
Johnson really isn’t great at any one particular area, but he’s very solid. He could play either strong or free safety, which increases his value some.
Does simply staying on the roster for three seasons merit a passing grade? The unforgiving analysts from Titan Sized will give you an answer.
2010 NFL Draft Report Card Evaluation
Robert Johnson, S, Utah
Round 5, Pick 148
Still With Team: YES
Career Games: 12 (Defensively)
Pass Deflections: 1
Joshua Huffman (Editor): 50 (F)
Although Robert Johnson remains with the team, his days are numbered. Along with Michael Griffin and Jordan Babineaux, these three safeties formed one of the worst units during the 2012-13 NFL season. Johnson never panned out as a starter, reserve, rotational player or even as a special-teams contributor.
Josh Gunnels (Assistant Editor, Lead Columnist): 60 (D)
Johnson finally got to see the field after 2 years of grooming during the 2012 season. He failed miserably. Jordan Babineaux’s play declined dramatically from his 2011 level and the Titans coaching staff tried to give the job to someone else, namely Robert Johnson. I’m not sure what you expect out of your 5th round pick, but after 3 years he does not have starter ability or recognition and isn’t a special teams standout.
David Fleming (Contributor): 67 (D+)
Johnson was inactive for the majority of his first two seasons with the Titans, but in 2012 he was given his chance to contribute. Regrettably, the safety experiment of last season was disastrous, and Johnson struggled to produce in his expanded role. With the signings of Pollard and Wilson, Johnson will return to his spot on the bench.
Titan Sized Staff (3 Participants): 59 (F)
67 + 60 + 50 = (177 / 3) = 59
What do Titan Sized readers think? Answer in the poll below. All grades will get averaged and tallied within the next 2-3 days.
Next Up: Rusty Smith, QB, Florida Atlantic