2019 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Florida SAF Chauncey Gardner-Johnson

HEIGHT: 5-11


COLLEGE: Florida

CLASS: Junior

2018 STATS: 71 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 4 interceptions, 2 defensive touchdowns, 2 passes defended (13 games)

CAREER STATS: 161 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 9 interceptions, 3 defensive touchdowns, 12 passes defended (35 games)

GAMES WATCHED (7): Missouri, Michigan, Kentucky, South Carolina, LSU (2018); South Carolina, Florida State (2017)

4.48 17 36″ 117″ 7.03 4.2


  • Good man coverage ability from the slot
  • Has speed, quickness and fluidity needed to cover receivers at all levels of the field
  • Typically reliable in shallow zone coverage
  • Takes too many drop steps in zone coverage on occasion and will concede some easy completions underneath
  • Was duped by outside release fakes on occasion — flipped hips toward the sideline too early and allowed receivers to get a clean inside release (Michigan, South Carolina)


  • Good play recognition — quick to key and diagnose run and quick passing game concepts
  • Seemed to diagnose plays more quickly after move from deep safety role in 2017 to nickelback role in 2018
  • Route anticipation is hit-or-miss from off coverage

SPEED/RANGE (13.5/15)

  • Very good sideline-to-sideline range on the back end
  • Able to run vertically with most receivers in man-to-man coverage


  • Has good fluidity in change of direction movements
  • Good click-and-close out of backpedal
  • Can get a little high in his backpedal from time to time; footwork can be a little clunky from off coverage


  • Decent tackler — needs to wrap up and come to balance more consistently
  • Generally takes good pursuit angles to the ball-carrier
  • Good hit power
  • High motor player that will hustle all over the field


  • Good ball skills — 9 career interceptions
  • Could better PBU numbers with improved route anticipation
  • Tracks the football well downfield

BLITZ (3.5/5)

  • Was rarely used as a blitzer, but showed he could make an impact in that role with his speed and quickness


  • Good size for either safety position at 5-11, 210 lbs
  • Arm length is a little on the shorter side at 30 7/8″

OVERALL GRADE: 81.50/100.00 — 1ST ROUND — Rookie starter; top-15 player at position/Pro Bowl potential

SCHEME FIT: Nickelback is best role; has flexibility to play strong or free safety.

DRAFT PROJECTION: Late 1st/Early 2nd round

“Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is a ‘queen on the chess board’ type of defensive back. He’s a versatile player that can be moved all over the secondary to erase mismatches, whether you need him to cover a tight end, a slot receiver or running back. His primary value comes from his ability to negate mismatches without substituting personnel. Gardner-Johnson seems to be most comfortable covering from the slot, but he has the range needed to function in single-high coverage as well. Gardner-Johnson brings a toughness in run support that works well in a box safety role, but he could stand to become a more reliable tackler. In year one, Gardner-Johnson should be a solid starter. By year three, he can become a Pro Bowl-caliber player.” — Dan Wussow


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