So when Johnson talks up Buffalo rookie corner Stephon Gilmore, it’s not something to take lightly. In fact, it should be a warning shot to Buffalo's opponents this upcoming season.
"I don't know how to say it, but he's up there with some of the DBs in the league who've been playing for a couple of years, and he hasn't even played one play," Johnson told the Associated Press this weekend. "Really, I don't want to speak too highly, but it's hard to not speak highly of somebody that can play as well as he has from rookie minicamp all the way up until now."
Many people, including the AFC East blog, nodded in agreement when Buffalo took Gilmore with the No. 10 overall pick in April. It was a solid selection that made plenty of sense. The Bills boosted their defensive line in free agency by signing defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson. Drafting Gilmore improved the back end.
Gilmore was projected as one of the most NFL-ready players in this year's draft. He's proving it in practice with the Bills and is expected to be a Week 1 starter.
"He's earned our respect already," Bills receiver David Nelson said. "Every time you go against him, you've got to be ready. You know you're going to get everything he has, and it's going to be that way when the ball's snapped until the whistle."