Isaiah Johnson and the Raiders will always have Nov. 8, 2020.
The 2019 fourth-round draft pick — who Raiders’ coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock were extremely high on — had his one highlight with the franchise that day when he broke up two plays in the end zone to secure a victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. It was a heroic effort.
However, Johnson hardly played after that game in the rest of last season and Gruden was lukewarm about Johnson’s playing time when asked about it the day after his big two plays.
Then on Tuesday, with the writing on the wall all of 2021, the Raiders gave up on Johnson.
The #Raiders are waiving CB Isaiah Johnson, per source. Fourth-round pick in 2019 draft headed for a fresh start.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 31, 2021
Johnson, who is 6’2, 210 pounds just like the Raiders want in their cornerbacks, but he couldn’t stay healthy. He missed 11 games as a rookie and he was hurt most of this offseason and training camp.
In the end, it was a numbers game for Johnson. There just wasn’t enough room for him in a crowded cornerback room. It didn’t help that he played poorly on Sunday in the preseason finale against the San Francisco 49ers.
Johnson is the fourth Raiders’ defensive back taken in the first four rounds from 2017-2019 who flamed out. He joins cornerback Gareon Conley (first round, 2017), safety Obi Melifonwu (second round, 2017), and cornerback Nick Nelson (fourth round, 2018).
a TOTAL FAILURE of player evaluation— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) May 1, 2021
on their secondary the last 5 yrs Raiders used:
4 first round picks (most in NFL)
6 picks in the first 2 rds (most)
10 picks in the first 4 rds (most)
yet pass D ranked
secondary was a top need again
It wouldn’t be a surprise if Johnson is claimed, but he may have to prove himself at a work out. Either way, he will probably want a fresh start elsewhere rather than go to the Raiders’ practice squad, but we will see.