Indiana safety Jamar Johnson was selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday by the Denver Broncos with the 164th overall pick. He’s the first Indiana player taken in this year’s draft.
Johnson recorded 43 tackles including 3.5 for loss this season and led the Hoosiers with four interceptions. He also recorded four pass break-ups. The 6-foot-1, 197-pounder from Sarasota, Fla., was named first-team All-Big Ten by the conference’s media and second-team by the coaches. He became the first Indiana safety to be named first-team All-Big Ten since Eric Allen in 1996.
Johnson continues a streak of eight seasons in which Indiana has had at least one player taken in the NFL Draft.
Johnson was one of three players taken by the Broncos in the secondary in the first five rounds. They also selected cornerback Patrick Surtain II of Alabama in the first round and safety Caden Sterns of Texas.
Update: Johnson spoke with Broncos beat reporters shortly after his selection via video teleconference. Aric DiLalla, lead writer on the Denver Broncos website, wrote up a story from that interview which includes video of the interview.
Johnson was asked about what he thinks about Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons, the Broncos returning starters at safety, under whom he’ll be studying.
“I’ve always watched their games, especially Justin Simmons,” Johnson said on the teleconference. “He is one of my favorites. I’m just going to go in there and learn from those guys as much as I can — take notes and one day hopefully be in their position. It’s exciting to have those two guys. Justin just got [re-signed] and Kareem Jackson is from [Georgia]. It’s a dream come true — a blessing.”
He was also asked about where he believes he fits on special teams, which will be his best bet to solidify a roster spot and get playing time as a rookie.
“I played every special team there is,” Johnson said. “I’m ready to come in and do whatever I have to do to help my team win. I like kickoff, punt return, punt. Whatever they need. I’m just going to be a Swiss Army knife when it comes to that.”