Raiders UDFA Profile: S Shelton Johnson

Gregory Shamus

Shelton Johnson had been projected as having a chance to get drafted in the 7th round but alas that was not to be. His failure to continue momentum from his Junior season into his Senior year had him fall into the Raiders hands as an UDFA.

There is one game of his specifically as a fan of his college team the Wisconsin Badgers that sticks out to me. It came during the 2011 Big Ten Championship game in which the Badgers lucked out to win 41-38 against Michigan St. In that game, Shelton had 8 tackles, 1 pass defended, and an interception. The interception came in the first half but it was directly after the Spartans had taken the lead 22-21 and then forced a 3 and out from the Russell Wilson led Badgers.

That was a huge game for the Badgers. Even with their National Championship dreams crushed by 2-straight games in which they lost on Hail Mary plays, they still had the opportunity to get to the Rose Bowl. Michigan St was also the first of two teams that had just won on the Hail Mary throws providing a little extra motivation.

That game stands out for Shelton is because it was extremely emotional for the team and it brought Johnson's best game of his college career out of him. There is something to respect about a player that can have his best game when their season was on the line and if the Raiders can get Johnson to play like he did that night more consistently then they will get a solid player for the team.

The Raiders certainly provide a chance for Johnson to make the team as they currently have Reggie Smith, Usama Young, Brandian Ross, and Tyvon Branch as the only Safeties on the team and Ross played more cornerback last season and is actually listed simply as a DB.

One question mark of Shelton's is his strength and he didn't alleviate any of that concern when he chose not to participate in the bench press at the Badgers' pro day. He did show he has pretty good speed, running a 4.4 40-yard dash. He has decent ball skills although he disappointed with only 4 interceptions his senior year.

At 6ft tall, he has enough height to play the position, although he might want to add some bulk to his 197-pound frame. He displayed some toughness by making a quick recovery from a broken arm and returning to the field after missing just 2 games. This is what he had to say to Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel after the injury had happened:

"I knew something was wrong with it but I didn’t think it was broken until a play or two later when I looked at it. I noticed my arm was crooked." said Johnson, "That is when the pain started to set in."

There are some classic fans in Raider Nation that will enjoy that kind of toughness. Hopefully Shelton proves worthy and makes this team. If he doesn't he could be an option for the practice squad.

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