Will Seahawks’ signing cornerback Dontae Johnson fix hole?

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Wide receiver Tyler Lockett (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Wide receiver Tyler Lockett (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /

The Seahawks were in need of a cornerback to take Richard Sherman’s place. Dontae Johnson may be the answer. But how good is the former San Francisco 49er? And is Seattle going to reply on him to be the starter in 2018?

The Seahawks have two cornerbacks held over from 2017 they can assume to be solid next year. Justin Coleman and Shaquill Griffin were solid last season. Byron Maxwell was pretty decent after joining Seattle a bit over halfway though the season, but he has yet to re-sign. Now Seattle has signed Dontae Johnson.

Basically, the Seahawks just traded Richard Sherman for Johnson. And oddly enough, it’s kind of the same thing they did with the Minnesota Vikings when Sheldon Richardson went to Minnesota and Seattle signed former Vikings Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen.

Johnson started all 16 games last year for the 49ers and became their best cornerback. But let’s not get too excited just yet. Pro Football Focus gave Johnson a grade of 36.9 last year which ranked as “poor.” Johnson was the 118th “best” corner in the NFL. Johnson was benched against the Houston Texans last year after struggling in coverage.

And while Johnson has good height for a Seattle corner at 6’2″, he has shorter arms than Pete Carroll normally likes.

There are good things about the Johnson signing, however. He has NFL starting experience. Johnson is a pretty good tackler, which is a must in the Seahawks system. Plus, Johnson played in a 49ers system that is a lot like Seattle’s, so the transition from one team to the next should be relatively smooth.

Johnson probably isn’t the answer to who will fix the Seahawks’ corner hole. But he would most likely be the starter week one out wide opposite Griffin. Seattle may still take a corner in round one. But at least with Johnson there is a lesser need to do so.

And the Seahawks still need a pass rusher more anyway.