The Kansas City Chiefs added another piece to their secondary on Monday afternoon, acquiring veteran cornerback Lonnie Johnson Jr. from the Houston Texans.
Here are five things to know about the newest member of the defense.
1. Johnson originally entered the NFL as a second-round pick.
The Texans selected Johnson with the No. 54 overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, making him the eighth cornerback taken that year. Houston took Johnson following two strong seasons at the University of Kentucky, where he tallied 64 tackles, 12 passed defensed, three tackles-for-loss, one interception and a forced fumble in 26 career games (18 starts).
Before transferring to Kentucky, Johnson played at Garden City Community College in southwestern Kansas.
2. He hauled in a career-most three interceptions last season.
Johnson appeared in 14 games (7 starts) last season, recording six passes defensed and a career-high three interceptions.
In total, Johnson has appeared in 44 games during his career with 19 total starts, amassing 172 tackles, 13 passes defensed and three picks.
3. Johnson has the versatility to play both cornerback and safety.
The 26-year-old Johnson has manned a variety of roles during his brief career, serving primarily as a wide corner during his rookie season (419 snaps) before transitioning to free safety in each of the last two years. He handled a bit of a hybrid role in 2021, logging the majority of his snaps at free safety (317) while also recording some time (148 snaps) at wide corner.
He joins a secondary that includes numerous versatile players who can also play either role, including cornerback L'Jarius Sneed and rookie cornerback Trent McDuffie.
4. He adds another tall, long corner to the Chiefs' secondary.
Johnson checks in at 6-foot-2 and 213 pounds, making him the third-tallest cornerback currently on the roster. It's not just height, either, as Johnson also has long arms at 32 5/8 inches. Here's what NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein wrote about Johnson during the pre-draft process in 2019:
"Long and tall with physical traits galore…Exceptional size for the position."
His addition continues a recent trend for Kansas City of acquiring longer boundary defenders, as the only cornerbacks taller than Johnson currently on the roster are rookies Joshua Williams (6-foot-3) and Jaylen Watson (6-foot-3). By comparison, only two corners (L'Jarius Sneed and Charvarius Ward, both at 6-foot-1) logged snaps for the Chiefs last season at 6-foot-0 or taller. Kansas City didn't have any corners who checked in at 6-foot-2 or taller last season, and now they employ three.
5. Johnson is reuniting with another former Texans' defensive back in safety Justin Reid.
He may be changing teams, but Johnson will immediately recognize a familiar face in the Chiefs' locker room. Johnson and safety Justin Reid, who signed with the Chiefs in March, were teammates in Houston from 2019 through 2021.
The two were on the field for 37 games together in that span, and now both in Kansas City, they'll continue their NFL journey alongside one another with the Chiefs.