Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/8/12
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Going to a “small school” might hinder your first big NFL paycheck, but it doesn’t mean you can’t ball. From Falcons running back Michael Turner (Northern Illinois) to perennial Pro Bowl defensive end DeMarcus Ware (Troy),  many big names come out of these small schools and have impacts that will forever be remembered in the NFL.
 
The next potential small school, big star is Montana corner Trumaine Johnson. He is built like a safety at 6’2’’, 204 pounds, and even though his forty-time hurts his stock (4.61) he still has the potential to be one of the best to come out of the Big Sky Conference. Johnson’s physicality makes him worth drafting in the first round, but with so many DB’s in the SEC, three from Alabama and LSU alone, coming very highly regarded, Johnson will more than likely slip in to the second, maybe even the third round.
 
A four-year starter at Montana, Johnson holds school records with 36 passes deflected and 15 interceptions. He is tough, as was shown during his sophomore year when he played six games with a broken ulna bone. Johnson recorded 44 tackles for the Grizzles in 2011, and averaged 22.2 yards over eight kick returns. Against the Tennessee Volunteers during his senior year, Johnson had a strong performance recording seven tackles, forcing a fumble, and had one pass defended.
 
Johnson will be criticized that he did not have to cover big name college receivers during his tenure in college like the other corners slated to go ahead of him. There is going to be a learning curve as Johnson has to adjust to the speed and the coverages of the pro game, but it’s like that with every DB coming out of college. He had problems getting caught on blocks, even though he is a good run defender.
 
Trumaine Johnson could have a lot of suitors in the late-second to early-third round range, and a lot of teams might be looking to trade up so they can snag him. Indianapolis is a team that was absolutely abysmal in pass coverage last season, and could pick Johnson as high as the second pick in the second round. Cincinnati, if they do not address this need with their two picks in the first round, most definitely need safety help, and could try to convert Johnson because of his size. The Lions and Titans are two other teams that need to address their depth in the secondary. But the team that has been keeping the closest eye on Trumaine Johnson has been the Atlanta Falcons. 

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