Denver Broncos ink Jamar Johnson to rookie contract

Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Jamar Jefferson (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Denver Broncos 2021 NFL Draft, Jamar Jefferson (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

George Paton just signed another key piece to the Denver Broncos’ rookie class, and this time it’s at the safety position. The Denver Broncos signed their rookie safety Jamar Johnson to a rookie contract worth up to $3.79 million. The fifth-round selection will receive a little over $300,000 in a nice signing bonus.

When George Paton was on the clock in the fifth round, he was looking for potential talent to help in the backfield. More specifically, he needed insurance at safety. Kareem Jackson and newly extended Justin Simmons can’t do all the work, therefore Paton looked towards the draft for backup.

Bring Jamar Johnson into the equation.

Paton’s pick of Johnson brings intelligence and awareness to the Denver Broncos secondary. Johnson is well-known for his ability to read the space around him and making adjustments accordingly. He is also strong at following the receiver’s route and making switches to off-man.

Back at the University of Indiana, Johnson produced an impressive seven career interceptions, with four of those coming from 2020 alone. Johnson also picked off first-round selection Justin Fields twice against Ohio State. He compiled 69 total tackles and four sacks in his three years at Indiana.

With Johnson now under contract for the Denver Broncos, the big question now is how he will fit into Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell’s scheme.

Because Johnson is strong in the short-range, it’s likely fans will find him in a lot of man-coverage situations. Johnson will likely line up down the middle and play hawk from behind.  When the time comes, he can fire at the ball and either create the tackle or interception.

The Indiana prospect, while subtle in his craft, is no stranger to enforcing on the field. In November of 2020, Johnson was ejected from their contest vs. Michigan University for throwing a punch on wide receiver Ronnie Bell. Immediately following his ejection, Michigan went the other way and scored a touchdown on Indiana.

While this incident should not be a concern for the Broncos, it brings a level of interest towards his on-field leadership. Altercations like these show that Johnson is confident and not willing to back down from a fight. If his intentions are channeled correctly on the field, Jamar Johnson could rise to become one of the better leaders in the secondary.

Johnson’s signing was one of the first rookie contracts of George Paton’s general managing career. The remaining rookies to be signed to the Denver Broncos roster include cornerback Patrick Surtain II, running back Javonte Williams, guard Quinn Meinerz, and Ohio State linebackers Barron Browning and Jonathon Cooper.