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How Pro Football Focus sees 49ers free agent Dontae Johnson

We’re going over the Pro Football Focus free agency guide, and seeing what they have to say about 49ers cornerback Dontae Johnson.

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I’ve got my hand on the incredible extensive free agency guide from the folks at Pro Football Focus, and we’re going to make our way through the 49ers’ pending free agents, and perhaps some targets as well, looking at what PFF had to say about them overall. Today, we look at cornerback Dontae Johnson.

They track two significant signature stats for cornerbacks. The first, in coverage, covers all things from snaps spent in coverage, yards after the catch allowed by each defender, cover snaps per target and so much more. They also break that out in covering the slot as well.

As expected, Johnson did not fare well in most of these categories. He was ranked 17th among free agent cornerbacks ... a stunning low ranking for a player that was so promising a year ago. He allowed 56 receptions on 86 targets, allowing 781 yards, 150 of which came after the catch. He had one interception, allowed five touchdowns, and an opposing quarterback rating of 108.7 when thrown at.

He allowed a reception on ever 9.8th cover snap. Johnson is so far down the list of cornerbacks that he doesn’t have a writeup, but there are other stats worth mentioning.

The most interesting, to me, are his three-year grades. In 2015, he had an overall grade of 70.9, a run defense grade of 74.2 and a coverage grade of 71.4. In 2016, those grades were 65.9, 49.5 and 67.3 — a precipitous drop in the middle category, but not bad in the other two.

But for 2017, Johnson carried an overall grade of 36.9, a run defense grade of 42.9 and a coverage grade of 37.5, staggeringly low. You could then ask the question: was 2017 just an aberration, or was he merely overlooked in the prior two seasons?

Then again, his combined three-year stats have him allowing catches on 62.0 percent of passes thrown to his coverage, for 1,160 yards six touchdowns and a 100.6 passer rating against. He ranks 102nd among all cornerbacks in yards per cover snap, 54th in run stop percentage and 57th in tackling efficiency.

Finally, they project his best fit as the Cincinnati Bengals, with an annual guarantee of the veteran minimum. All credit to PFF for tracking the useful stats, so use the link above if you want to see more.

Previous PFF free agency guide articles: RB Carlos Hyde