1. Lonnie Johnson Jr., Cornerback
For the Houston Texans to be improved in the secondary, they will need to have a solid and impactful season from second-round pick Lonnie Johnson Jr., a cornerback from Kentucky. Johnson had a 4.52 40-yard dash, and the 6-2, 213 pound cornerback has been described by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com as a player who has “exceptional size for the position.”
Houston Chronicle Texans reporter Aaron Wilson quoted Texans general manager Brian Gaine about Johnson in a recent article:
"“Played very well in the Senior Bowl and matched up versus some very good competition. Very aggressive in run support. He can play perimeter press coverage, can play man coverage. We’re excited to have him.”"
If Johnson can play well against some strong competition — as he’ll have to, playing in the AFC South — the Texans will have maybe their most impactful rookie on their roster in year one. Johnson will be in a defensive backfield with Aaron Colvin and Johnathan Joseph, as Johnson should push Colvin for a starting role at right cornerback.
Colvin underperformed in his first season with the Texans as he played in 10 games (two starts) with just one pass defensed in 2018, after spending his first four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Johnson has a big opportunity in front of him to prove he’s an impactful player the Texans need in 2019, and even as a rookie, he needs to have the abilities to make his presence known for the franchise from the first day on the field.