Report: Steelers Had Dinner With Wake Forest CB Kevin Johnson Last Month

Several Pittsburgh Steelers fans are hoping that Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson will be the team’s first round selection this year. While we already know that the team spent a lot of time talking to Johnson and his parents at his March Pro Day, word came out Monday that they also dined with him at that event as well.

Johnson, who finished the 2014 season with 44 tackles, also only allowed 24 receptions in the 12 games that he played in. He was a three-year starter at Wake Forest and would certainly fit a huge need for the Steelers if drafted.

In a Monday interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio, the young cornerback compared himself to Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden as he stated the two have a lot of similarities in their game.

As you can imagine, the Steelers aren’t the only team interested in possibly drafting Johnson in the first or second round as the young cornerback reportedly has a visit lined up with the Dallas Cowboys after already having worked out for the San Diego Chargers, Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. He’s also reportedly scheduled to work out for Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals.

The Steelers are expected to have quite a few players in for pre draft visits this month and it will be interesting to see if Johnson is one of them.

The Steelers haven’t drafted a cornerback in the first round of a draft since they selected Chad Scott in 1997. In 2005, however, the team drafted Bryant McFadden out of Florida State in the second round.

  • PapaJuju

    You know he’s not going to be the guy. His name is attached to the Steelers much too often.

  • Vinhuddle

    If the Steelers go CB in rd 1 I’d be glad if KJ was the pick unless for some unknown reason (act of God) Trae Wayne’s slips to #22 and I don’t see that miracle happening. It seems that different CBs are rated 2-5 in varying order, and each with a flaw. He seems to have the least concerning questions whether it’s injury, J.Collins or attitude, M.Peters. Definitely he would be an upgrade to the secondary.

  • Vinhuddle

    Good point. That seems to be true the past few drafts.

  • ApexSteel

    Unless it’s Waynes or Peters I don’t want a Corner in the first.

  • SnoopDogg123

    Agreed.

  • Melly

    Pitt was attached to Jarvis Jones too.

  • gth

    He’s a bit of a reach at 22. Waynes is the only legit 1st rd cb IMO. I know we are desperate for a cb, so they might do it, but there will be better values at 22 ahead of Kevin.

  • renoir

    wouldnt go Peters 1st round period. No more chances in early rounds on questionable character guys. We tried it with Adams and Rainey and neither panned out…

  • gth

    Peters issues have knocked him down, but if he is throughly vetted and approved, he’s definitely 1st rd at 22. Those issues have pushed him into rd 2 as it stands.

  • ApexSteel

    Rainey was no where near an early rounder. Mike Adams and Marcus Peters situations aren’t the same. Mike Adams was an under achiever with great physical skills that never panned out. Peters is actually talented and is probably the best corner in this draft. Literally the only thing similar about them are character concerns.

  • ApexSteel

    I highly doubt he makes it to the 2nd. The Pats and Seahawks know talent when they see it. One of them will take him and laugh at the entire league for years to come.

  • gth

    I don’t see the Seahawks taking such a risk, but the pats would.

  • ApexSteel

    I forgot they don’t have a first rounder anyways, but regardless they are a risk taking team. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saints took him either.

  • Vinhuddle

    How about the Cowboys? Dallas and/or Jerry Jones haven’t been too concerned about character issues this century.

  • c t s

    Just looking at the comments, people are putting too high an emphasis on Peters character which is a non issue. If he was so bad, Washington would not have allowed him to come back for his Pro Day. His team mates n coaches banged on the table for the guy. THEY HAD NO OBLIGATION TO DO THAT!!! If he falls to 22 I’d take him over KJ but if we get KJ I think we got 1B when it comes to the corners in the draft.

  • renoir

    Agreed, but Peters had severe problems with his coaches..would you overlook smoking pot sooner then problems with authority?

  • ApexSteel

    Not too many people know the details of his situation, but it’s probably not as bad as it seems. He got a really bad rap once someone spread that fake rumor about him choking his coach now he as a bad stigma around him. But even after getting kicked off the team his teammates said he was still helping them go over the game plans and giving his replacements tips.

    As far as a scheme fit goes that’s also a yes. He’s played off man, cover 3, and press with efficiency. He’s physical and a strong tackler too. He’s a definite fit.

  • PittsburghSports

    If I had my choice of any CB in the draft, I’d probably take Kevin Johnson, although I think Trae Waynes has a bit more upside with his speed. I really like Marcus Peters and Byron Jones as well. Hopefully one of them is there for us to choose.

    Gil Brandt @Gil_Brandt · Apr 5

    Best CB 2015 draft vs giving up TD passes:
    1) B Jones-UConn-0
    2) T Waynes-MState-1
    3) K Johnson-Wake-1
    4) E Rowe-Utah-1
    5) J Cox-Miss St-1

  • cp72

    What do you like about Peters more than Johnson? I have watched quite a bit of video of both. To be honest I don’t see them being to far apart talent wise. They also tested similar at the combine (Johnson was actually a little better).

    I like when people say I want this guy or that guy. I would just like to know why. What am I missing that you see? All things being equal (and I think they are close from a talent prospective) do you not take the kid that didn’t get kicked off the team?

  • ApexSteel

    He was a better cover guy than Johnson against better competition. He’s built a lot better than Johnson and he’s a stronger tackler.

  • Vinhuddle

    Wake Forest is a lousy team, always has been. The ACC and Pac12 are comparable I thought so I read Phil Steeles 2014 college football strength of schedule. WFU 37th. UW 52nd.

  • cp72

    Okay. I agree on the strength thing. I don’t know that I agree he is a supremely better cover guy. I thought Johnson should a better transition and more athleticism.

  • cp72

    ACC receivers he would have faced
    Kelvin Benjamin
    Rashard Greene
    Phillip Dorsett
    Darren Waler
    Jamison Crowder

    Man that’s a pretty decent group.

  • cp72

    Oh almost forgot DeVante Parker

  • PittsburghSports

    Yeah usually not much difference, although Pac12 has been a bit better the last couple years, but I’m willing to bet the ACC leads the two in players drafted the last few years. In 2014: ACC-42 players selected. Pac12-34 players selected.

  • Vinhuddle

    I bet he has a lot of stamina and reps going against a teams best WR since WFUs defense was constantly on the field because their offense is so lousy. No offense to Josh Harris.lol

  • Vinhuddle

    Stefon diggs from md.

  • Pud Pushman

    Can’t stand the guy’s cockiness but I would take him on my team in a heartbeat. He did put together a huge resume before whatever happened.

  • taztroy43

    For me Its called saving face n so he can go in the 1st round so they can recruit young talented h.s. players into the program….imo….it makes the school the bigger person n willing to give a 2nd chance kinda thing….

  • mokhkw

    It’s pretty easy to find out what Peters did last year with a search.

    I think we all agree that what Blount did last year was unforgivable & were happy to see him released after 1 “diva” incident at the end of a game.

    In 2014 Peters had this happen:

    1. Gameday Sideline tantrum after PF for head-butting(September)

    2. Practice Tantrum (October)

    3. Skipped Practice after Tantrum (October)

    4.Gameday Sideline Tantrum (November)

    5. Practice Tantrum (November – the one that got him dismissed from the Team).

    So he didn’t choke his coach – big deal at this point & with 5 “diva” incidents in one season on his resume.

    Like Jameis Winston some are willing to look past what is likely a head-case-in-waiting because of the talent level.

    I doubt the Steelers will make that mistake & I doubt Peters is even on their board as a 1st Rder (if at all).

  • mokhkw

    ^^^^bingo.

    His team mates & Coaches took the high road rather than make themselves & the school look worse by throwing Peters under the bus.

  • steeltown

    Yea if Peters somehow makes it past MIA, HOU and PIT I have no doubt Green Bay, New Orleans or New England would scoop him up and as you said, laugh the whole way to the podium. Good Organizations with solid foundations can make these kinds of decisions because they can handle things in their own house, we’re not talking about a TOP 10 pick here. I certainly hope the Steelers bring him in for a visit.

  • c t s

    But his team mates did as well.

  • ApexSteel

    Right we know he threw tantrums, but those aren’t details. Was it how the coaches approached him that set him off? Was it his teammates? Did he have something going on in his own life? Basically is it something the coaches can work with? Because for someone who was kicked off the team his team still speaks fondly of him.

  • PittsburghSports

    SPARQ scores of 2015 top CBs

    Byron Jones (150.1)
    Eric Rowe (133.7)
    Kevin Johnson (131.6)
    Ronald Darby (129.8)
    Trae Waynes (122.4)
    Alex Carter (120.8)
    P.J. Williams (120.3)
    Jalen Collins (118.8)
    Marcus Peters (117.0)

  • PittsburghSports

    Very difficult to speculate his attitude either way. However, you don’t just get kicked off your team for nothing. I think he’s a great CB, and probably the most ready CB in the draft to start week 1, but his attitude reminds me of Brandon Marshall.

  • Phillip Dssturk Dobrensky

    Except last year. I don’t think I saw a single mock having us taking Shazier at 15.

  • Name

    Wayens and Peters are OK picks. As long as there not set in stone. Every year the teams that draft before the Steelers always leave a number of top players in there wake. We should look these players over. Its our only chance to grab one. This is a CB year, we can get one or two later. I don’t want to see a reach in the first round. There is a good chance that the Steelers could be picking last in the next draft. I would like to see the Steelers pick a RB like David Johnson out of N. Iowa even if it happens in the 2nd round and Jesse James in the 3rd or 4th. The best TE in the combine. He is smart and he could be taught. Miller can teach him. How about a guy like Jake Fisher who helped protect Marcus Mariota? Could he do that for Big Ben? We could use a DT like late rounder Terry Williams. A human cannonball at 6’1″ 353 from East Carolina. I don’t have to tell any draftnick, there is quality in later rounds. It’s like the Browns. They can’t find a QB and thats good for us. How many QB have the Browns taken in the first and second rounds. If it was my choice, I would take a guy like Sean Mannion from Oregon State and work with him. About round 5 would be about right. He could work out for Bens replacement in 3 or 4 years. If any of the top 15 fall to the Steelers, with the exception of WRs. The brass should take a close look.

  • Rick Austin

    Even after his horrible workouts.

  • justMe

    if the guy is as good as everyone thinks he is, then move up and get him!! CB has been ignored by this team FAR to long and it’s now costing them. GET IT DONE PITTSBURGH!!!!

  • mokhkw

    My initial reaction is – who cares? Regardless of the circumstances he let his team-mates down, not once but 5 times.

    Everyone has issues/problems they have to deal with & there are simply no excuses for an adult to do what he did. Once I can understand; learn, mature & move on but repeated instances of the same diva behavior tells me that this will be an on-going issue. If it was a personality conflict with a team-mate or coach then he dealt with in in a very child-like way imo.

    This is classic “me first” stuff similar to Terrell Owens.

    As for his team-mates & coaches sticking up for him, they really had no choice. If they spoke ill of him they would also look bad, affecting their draft stock & recruiting. So they took the high road – I’ve played & coached with some guys who got into trouble on & off the field but you would never hear me say one bad thing about them – they’re my brothers & brothers don’t do that to each other.

    What I say and do in private is a completely different thing though.

    Knowing his past behavior, how would you trust him in a pressure situation? What would happen vs the Ravens & Steve Smith getting in his head? What about other high pressure situations like playoff games or vital/close regular season games? If things went bad in-game for him how would he react? If Tomlin or Butler got in his face about mistakes then what would he do, walk off? Quit? Not show up? Throw a tantrum?

    The record says he would react badly & hurt his team because thats exactly what he has done in the past.

    Add a multi-million $ contract to that as a 1st Rd Pick & you have a disaster waiting to happen.

    He’s an excellent CB and I hope he grows up but I don’t want us to take the risk with him when there are other CBs with similar potential we can select instead. He may have changed and grown up but his resume is his resume and there is no escaping that.

  • ApexSteel

    I don’t know what I would do because like I’ve been saying we have no idea what the blow ups were about. If the coaches don’t think they can deal with what he was blowing up about then don’t pick him. It’s that simple. All these what if scenarios are unnecessary if they think he’s unstable don’t pick him.