Lonnie Johnson Jersey

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Josh Allen drew the bulk of the Kentucky football NFL draft attention with a top-10 selection Thursday, but now the rest of the 2019 draft class is ready to send a message about the depth of the program.

Senior cornerback Lonnie Johnson became the second Wildcats selected Friday when the Houston Texans took him with the No. 54 overall pick in the second round. Allen was drafted No. 7 overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday.

As many as nine members of Kentucky’s 10-win 2018 team could be drafted this weekend.

“Lonnie is going to be a great pro,” Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said before the draft Thursday. “He’s got so much upside. You can’t help but look at him and watch him play and like him and want him on your team. It’s just a matter of how high and what pick, but he’s going to be a great pro and has got a lot of upside.”

Johnson’s senior statistics at Kentucky (23 tackles, one interception, four pass breakups) do not jump off the page, but at 6-foot-2, 213 pounds he boasts impressive size for a cornerback and proved his speed by running a 4.52-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine.

The Gary, Indiana native is still relatively raw compared to many high-level draft prospects thanks to three years in junior college, including one away from football in 2016 while working to qualify to enroll at an FBS program.

“He has just come from a difficult circumstance and has overcome and won in junior college,” Stoops said. “Since he has been on campus, I have not had to have one difficult conversation with him. He has handled his business every day that he has been here. He goes to class. He graduated early. He works hard. He spent three years being a corner. He has great upside. I am not saying he is perfect, but he has done everything right since he has been here. I just have great appreciation for him and he has great upside because he is still learning the game.”

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