In today's NFL the athletic, hybrid WR/TE is all the rage. This is particularly the case in our division with the Patriots possessing two such threats, along with an All-Time QB tossing it them. The problem that they present is that they are not only too athletic for traditional safeties and linebackers to contend with, but they also pose significant height and size issues for most corners. Some have suggested using LBs with coverage skills to combat this problem. I propose using big corners; or a corner/safety hybrid if you would. Trumaine Johnson is my prototype.
Johnson is a fantastic athlete. He played QB in HS, was heavily recruited to play WR in college, and ultimately he decided to play corner at Montana. That right there proves how versatile of an athlete this kid is. He's a 4 year starter and has tremendous experience. He also has experience as a kick returner (again showing you his athleticism). Johnson is excellent in coverage (11 break-ups, 12 deflections, 1 INT). He also has fantastic ball skills: roots out deflections, high points the ball, goes after the ball with his hands rather than trapping it against his body. His prowess as WR in HS further attests to his ball skill abilities. Johnson is also physical. In the clip above, you'll see him knocking ball carriers around and fighting through double-teams. He also seems pretty adept at blitzing off the edge; he seems to exhibit some pass rushing skills in this area as well. On the Jets, I think Johnson would be a fantastic fit.
He's got the speed and range to play free safety. He's got the instincts to read the QB and make a break on the ball. He's physical and athletic enough to re-route receivers and cover (namely against athletic TEs). You can blitz him off the edge. He's exactly the kind of guy that Rex can mold to flourish in his scheme. He can be a Charles Woodson type of guy that can be moved all around and that can make plays. Paired with corners like Revis and Cro, and with the addition of a good pass rusher, having a guy like Johnson in the secondary would make the defense very dangerous.