2. The NY Jets met with Texas A&M safety Antonio Johnson
Versatility is the name of the game with this year's safety class, and Texas A&M's Antonio Johnson absolutely continues that trend. A two-year collegiate starter, Johnson earned first-team All-SEC honors in 2022 and second-team honors in 2021.
Johnson has experience lining up everywhere from in the slot to as a box safety to even as a single-high safety in a deep zone. He's at his best when allowed to roam around the line of scrimmage and when asked to play zone coverage.
I think Johnson's best role in the NFL is as a hybrid safety/slot defender where he can put his impressive size (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) and versatility to the test.
Johnson might not be the first safety off the board come April, but it wouldn't surprise me if he ended up a top-50 pick. He makes sense as an early Day 2 target for the Jets.
1. The NY Jets met with Alabama safety Brian Branch
Alabama's Brian Branch is widely considered to be the best overall safety prospect in this year's draft class, and if the Jets are going to target him, it would very likely have to be in the first round.
Branch told reporters at the Combine that he was set to meet with the Jets Thursday night while praising the likes of Sauce Gardner and former Alabama star Quinnen Williams.
At 6-foot, 193 pounds, Branch is a former All-American who is one of the best open-field tacklers I can remember coming out of college in recent years. He has natural instincts for the safety position, excellent versatility, and is a plus-run-defender.
Branch probably makes more sense for the Jets if they move on from Jordan Whitehead. Sign me up for a safety duo of Jessie Bates and Brian Branch in 2023. That would be one way to completely revamp a weak spot on the roster.