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Saintsí new safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnsonís versatility stands out on film

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; When the New Orleans Saints drafted Florida safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in the fourth round on Saturday (April 27), my initial thought was that he would provide insurance for Vonn Bell, who is entering the final year of his contract. After ...

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Old 05-02-2019, 06:19 AM   #1
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When the New Orleans Saints drafted Florida safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in the fourth round on Saturday (April 27), my initial thought was that he would provide insurance for Vonn Bell, who is entering the final year of his contract.

After watching seven of Gardner-Johnsonís games, five from 2018 and two from 2017, I think itís more accurate to say the Saints pursued him for his versatility.

Gardner-Johnson primarily played nickel for the Gators in 2018, but he didnít just cover slot receivers. He blitzed at a high rate for a defensive back, and although he was rarely successful as a blitzer, the speed he demonstrated is a trait the Saints should be able to develop.

In 2017, Gardner-Johnson seemed to mix time as a deep safety and a box safety, so itís tough to project where the Saints expect him to play. After the draft, General Manager Mickey Loomis declined to explain the vision for each pick, and Gardner-Johnson is a player who could fill various roles for the Saints based on what he did at Florida.



The first thing that shows up on tape is Gardner-Johnsonís speed. Whether heís in coverage, blitzing or pursuing a running back, he flies around the field. His speed is even more apparent with the ball in his hands, which explains how he averaged 31.8 yards per interception return, including two touchdowns. The Saints have sought defensive players who can make game-changing plays, and Gardner-Johnson fits the description.

His coverage skills are impressive but far from perfect. In 2018, he typically played off the line of scrimmage, and although he has the speed to close the gap, he sometimes struggled to diagnose routes.



He also has some issues diagnosing run and pass plays and was too often late to help on run plays while running downfield in coverage.

Overall, Gardner-Johnson has enough skills to show why the Saints coveted him, but he also has enough flaws to indicate why he slipped into the fourth round.

The best play I saw was Gardner-Johnsonís first interception against Michigan in the 2018 Peach Bowl. On the play, he lined up as a nickel, but he showed free safety skills to make the pick. He hands off coverage of his man to two other defensive backs, but he doesnít immediately turn around as he tries to fool the quarterback. When Gardner-Johnson turns around, he sprints to help the outside cornerback covering a post and snatches the interception.

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Old 05-02-2019, 07:02 AM   #2
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Re: Saintsí new safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnsonís versatility stands out on film

He becomes the nickel and Robinson gets traded or cut.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:10 AM   #3
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Re: Saintsí new safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnsonís versatility stands out on film

Originally Posted by Cruize View Post
He becomes the nickel and Robinson gets traded or cut.
I'd like to keep PRob in 2019. We could go from "stacked" at the position to signing guys off the street in a NY minute.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:20 AM   #4
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Re: Saintsí new safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnsonís versatility stands out on film

The illustration on the above game vs Michigan really shows what dynamic range Gardney-Johnson have.

He plays close to the line, covers TE's, WRs while having the versatility to stuff power backs on 3rd and short. Any questions on his range ... google the LSU game. He's ALL OVER THE PLACE.

Worth mentioning that Gardner-Johnson was decent in 2017, but when Todd Grantham become Def Coord in 2018 his play became ELITE.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:25 AM   #5
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Re: Saintsí new safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnsonís versatility stands out on film

He’s basically a faster Kenny Vaccaro.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:42 AM   #6
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Re: Saintsí new safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnsonís versatility stands out on film

Originally Posted by K Major View Post
I'd like to keep PRob in 2019. We could go from "stacked" at the position to signing guys off the street in a NY minute.
Short memories 'round here. '18 season was shaky to begin last year; we had to trade a fourth for Apple (best trade of that year) when Robinson, best rated CB at that point, went down and Crawley regressed...

Can see moving Crawley to a non-conference team for a fifth, but not Patrick Robinson...
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:44 AM   #7
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Re: Saintsí new safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnsonís versatility stands out on film

Originally Posted by ChrisXVI View Post
Heís basically a faster Kenny Vaccaro.
And he can cover...
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:07 PM   #8
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Re: Saintsí new safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnsonís versatility stands out on film

He's so versatile that a single last name couldn't get the job done
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:24 PM   #9
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Re: Saintsí new safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnsonís versatility stands out on film

Originally Posted by neugey View Post
He's so versatile that a single last name couldn't get the job done
The two-last-name-thing...

Get respecting both Dads, but pick a name, already. As a kid, had to put names on jerseys for Mom's business - enjoyed the rare Polish Kid 'cause you don't get that many in bayouland, got to burn some Z's...

But we'd get these Spanish kids on Soccer teams, my gosh, after twenty jerseys per team with more than half with Rodriguez-Alvardo, Calderon-de la Cruz, Carabajal-Santiago, I was done with it and Mom's shop...

Smash'll tell you I was a big, full-grown kid at 13; when these lil soccer sh'ts showed out for football, I leveled them, absolutely crushed 'em; had grown parents coming at me and I was bigger, meaner than them...

And the whole while I'd tell them mijo, you gotta grow into your name...

God's punchline of life - married a Spanish girl who went rogue after nearly twenty years of being spoiled by my American family. Ah, gotta laugh at life...

Will we ever learn? Never let it come down to the officiating...
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Old 05-02-2019, 10:22 PM   #10
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Re: Saintsí new safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnsonís versatility stands out on film

Originally Posted by jeanpierre View Post
The two-last-name-thing...

Get respecting both Dads, but pick a name, already. As a kid, had to put names on jerseys for Mom's business - enjoyed the rare Polish Kid 'cause you don't get that many in bayouland, got to burn some Z's...

But we'd get these Spanish kids on Soccer teams, my gosh, after twenty jerseys per team with more than half with Rodriguez-Alvardo, Calderon-de la Cruz, Carabajal-Santiago, I was done with it and Mom's shop...

Smash'll tell you I was a big, full-grown kid at 13; when these lil soccer sh'ts showed out for football, I leveled them, absolutely crushed 'em; had grown parents coming at me and I was bigger, meaner than them...

And the whole while I'd tell them mijo, you gotta grow into your name...

God's punchline of life - married a Spanish girl who went rogue after nearly twenty years of being spoiled by my American family. Ah, gotta laugh at life...
So whatís it to you?
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