Keelan Johnson, the former Sun Devil safety, has found an NFL home and will be trying to earn playing time for the Miami Dolphins next season. Johnson signed as an undrafted free agent and he looks to contribute right away.
College Career: Though Johnson didn't truly stand out until his senior season, the Mesa, Ariz. native shined under the tutelage of Todd Graham. After earning significant playing time throughout his first three seasons, Johnson came into his own and helped lead the transformation of the Sun Devil secondary.
It's hard to argue with Johnson's production level in 2012, as his 88 tackles were second on the team. Johnson also showed a propensity to come up with big plays as his five interceptions led the team and put him in the top 15 nationally in that category.
Additionally, Johnson helped anchor the secondary as a team captain and his leadership presence was a major bonus for his fellow defensive backs.
Ultimately, Sun Devil fans will remember Johnson for his fantastic effort against Arizona in last season's Territorial Cup game. With time running short, Johnson intercepted a Matt Scott pass and also forced a fumble to help lead Arizona State to victory.
Skill Set: Johnson's 88 tackles demonstrate an ability to provide much-needed run support from the defensive backfield. Though he won't be the hardest hitting member of the secondary, Johnson is a high-energy guy who can track down running backs and wide receivers in space.
Furthermore, Johnson's skills in pass defense make him a great candidate to see playing time in nickel and dime packages. While he doesn't have elite speed, Johnson's combine marks show he has the ability to change direction quickly, which will be beneficial when playing in zone packages.
While Johnson probably won't get the chance to earn a starting spot, he can earn a place on the roster by becoming a special teams warrior. Todd Graham asked many of his starters to play special teams, and Johnson should be prepared to carry over his skills to kick and punt coverage duties at the next level.
How He Fits: Though Johnson could fill a niche role on just about any team, the Dolphins made a good decision by picking him up because he can provide immediate depth in the secondary.
Johnson will join fellow Sun Devil Cameron Marshall in Miami as the pair will look to compete for a roster spot right away. Of the Dolphins nine draft selections, three are defensive backs who will jockey for roles in the secondary so Johnson will have to battle to earn his spot.