2. Kevin Johnson, Cornerback
So far, the defensive MVP for the Cleveland Browns in training camp has been Kevin Johnson. A product of Wake Forest, Johnson was taken 16th overall by the Houston Texans in 2015. He spent his first four seasons there but struggled to stay healthy.
After a strong rookie campaign, he missed 10 games in 2016 after breaking his foot. He then lost four more games in 2017 to injury as he sprained his MCL. In 2018, he played in just one game as a concussion sidelined him for what proved to be his final season in Houston.
Johnson was released despite the team picking up the fifth-year on his rookie deal the season prior. He landed with the Buffalo Bills and was their No. 3 cornerback all year. He did enough to earn a contract with the Browns that could pay him up to $6 million but they were reluctant to give him a multi-year deal due to his injury history.
While time will tell whether or not he can shake the injury bug, we can already see he has the talent to get the job done. Johnson has been physical so far in camp and made a great play on Friday when he picked off a pass meant for Rashard Higgins in one-on-one drills.
On Sunday, Johnson continued to frustrate the wideouts and even got into a scuffle with Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Right now, Johnson is fighting with Greedy Williams for the starting job opposite Denzel Ward. Even if he doesn’t get that job, he will be a key piece to the defense in 2020 and his early performance is more than encouraging.