Jeron Johnson, the hard-hitting safety out of Boise State was expected to be a middle-round prospect in this year’s draft, but instead went undrafted and signed with the Seattle Seahawks as a rookie free agent.
Johnson, 21, entered Seattle’s safety competition with something to prove. So far, he has proved he belongs, posting a tackle for a loss and two pass deflections in a 24-17 win over San Diego, including a pass deflection late to seal the victory.
“I’ve always had a lot of motivation when it comes to football, with people saying what I can and can’t do,” he said. “So not being drafted is definitely motivation.”
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Johnson was a four-year starter at Boise State, leading the Broncos in tackles his sophomore, junior and senior seasons.
“I’m a physical player,” he said. “I think I play off my instincts for the most part, but I know my assignments.
“I’m a confident player. As a DB you’ve got to have confidence. You’re put on an island a lot. And if something goes wrong, it’s more than likely going to be put on a DB. So you’ve got to have confidence in your secondary.
“I’m making some mistakes here and there, but I’ve got to eliminate my mistakes and make more plays, and continue to get better. I’m striving to be one of he best players I can possibly be. And I’m just working hard right now.”
The big boys
Even though Boise State experienced plenty of success in recent years, Johnson thinks the school doesn’t get a lot of respect compared to some of the BCS schools, for instance USC, Alabama and Florida.
So he sees his time in Seattle as an opportunity to show that guys from the smaller schools can play with the big boys.
“Coming out of high school, I really wasn’t being recruited too much, so going to Boise State you were doubted week in and week out,” he said. “So that definitely came over to the NFL for me.”Young guns
Johnson is part of a young safety group. With veterans Lawyer Milloy and Jordan Babineaux no longer with the team, Kam Chancellor is now the senior member of the group at 23 years old, while 22-year-old Earl Thomas has the most extensive playing time.
So Johnson understands there is an opportunity to make the roster if he plays well.
“If they do something wrong, or if they do something right I’m looking at it both ways,” he said. “And I’m just trying to learn from both of them.”