Chauncey Gardner-Johnson Selected by New Orleans Saints, Third Former Cocoa Tiger Taken in NFL Draft
By Alan Zlotorzynski, Senior Editor // April 27, 2019
Former gator Standout selected 105th overall
ABOVE VIDEO: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson was called by the New Orleans Saints, as the former Cocoa Tiger and Florida Gator was selected with the 105th overall pick in the fourth round of the NFL Draft.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The 2015 Space Coast Daily – Friday Night Locker Room High School Football Player of the Year, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, waited longer than many experts and fans thought before finally hearing his name called in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Expected to be a possible first, or no later than second-day selection, Gardner-Johnson’s name was finally called by the New Orleans Saints, as the former Cocoa Tiger and Florida Gator was selected with the 105th overall pick in the fourth round.
Some NFL Draft experts predicted Gardner-Johnson to be a late first-round selection and most had him listed as no later than late second round pick.
Gardner- Johnson is a versatile and durable player as he started every game of his four-year career as a Cocoa Tiger and played in 37 games with the Florida Gators.
ABOVE VIDEO: Space Coast Daily’s Alan Zlotorzynski spoke with Chauncey Gardner-Johnson during night one of the NFL Draft.
He was also a track standout as he captured the 100- and 200-meter races at the state track and field meet while attending Cocoa High.
Aside from being named the Space Coast Daily – Friday Night Locker Room Player of the Year, Johnson-Gardner was also selected the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 2A Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
He recorded an interception in his first start in Gainesville and ended his Gator career with nine interceptions, three interception returns for touchdowns, 12 pass breakups, 161 total tackles, 15.5 tackles-for-loss, and four sacks.
He was named the Defensive Most Valuable Player in both of his bowl game appearances.
Last January, Gardner-Johnson snagged a pair of interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against Michigan.
He will likely play the safety position in the NFL. According to an analysis done by Pro Football Focus, Gardner-Johnson had the draft class’ highest grade when it came to defending wide receivers in the slot last season.
Gardner-Johnson is considered a great value pick for the Saints in round four and joins former Cocoa Tigers teammates Jawaaan Taylor, who was picked by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 35th overall pick in round two and Jamel Dean selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with pick No.94 in the third round.
Several other Brevard high school football players are hoping to be drafted or to sign as an undrafted free agent.
Among them are 2019 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame inductee and former Astronaut War Eagle and Florida Tech linebacker J.T. Hassell.
Also waiting for their phones to ring are three more former Cocoa Tigers. Defensive lineman Freddie Booth-Lloyd, defensive back Jamel Jackson and defensive lineman James Folston Jr. will all likely be undrafted NFL free agents.
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