The University of Utah’s highest-profile NFL prospect reportedly played most of his junior season with a torn right labrum.
Jaylon Johnson, a 2019 All-American and two-time All-Pac-12 first-team cornerback, hurt his shoulder in September and played through the tear for the rest of the season, according to an NFL.com report on Monday. Johnson, currently a projected third-round pick by NFL.com, will go through the entire NFL Combine this week, then have surgery on March 4.
Johnson’s on-field workout at the Combine is slated for March 1 along with the rest of the defensive backs. That group will include teammate Javelin Guidry. Julian Blackmon is expected at the Combine, but will not do any on-field work after suffering an injury during the Pac-12 championship game.
Johnson’s surgeon, Peter Millet, wrote in a letter last week to all 32 NFL teams that he recommended surgery. The typical recovery time is five months, which would have Johnson ready for the start of his rookie season. That timeline would obviously rule Johnson out of Utah Pro Day, which is slated for March 26.
“He wanted to play for his team last season and not let them down,” Wasserman Media Group’s Doug Hendrickson told NFL.com. “The guy’s tough as nails for fighting through that the whole year, and he wanted to compete at the combine at the highest level.”
As a junior last fall, Johnson ranked third in the Pac-12 and led Utah with 11 pass breakups. He had two interceptions in 13 starts at cornerback. One of those interceptions, a 39-yard pick-six at Washington help shift momentum in that win in Seattle, while standing as arguably the Utes’ biggest play of the season.
As expected, Johnson declared for the NFL Draft shortly after the Pac-12 championship game against Oregon, eventually skipping the Alamo Bowl.