Johnson had 43 tackles, including 3 for losses, defended 15 passes and had three interceptions as a senior last season. The 6-foot Johnson joins a secondary that features cornerbacks Kareem Jackson and Johnathan Joseph.
The Texans have gone heavy on defense in recent years, selecting a defensive player in the first round in six of the last seven seasons, including taking Jadeveon Clowney first overall last year. They did it again Thursday night.
Johnson was voted second team All-ACC by coaches last season to wrap up a career where he broke up 35 passes, which were the fourth-most in school history.
The Texans had a need at receiver after cutting seven-time Pro Bowler Andre Johnson in the offseason. But the instead chose to add to an already star-studded defense led by 2014 Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. Watt's spectacular season was a big reason why the Texans improved seven games last season to finish 9-7.
They're counting on their defense to be even better this season if Clowney is healthy to pair with Watt. Clowney injured his right knee in his first NFL game and had arthroscopic surgery. The outside linebacker returned for three games, but never got back to form and eventually had season-ending microfracture surgery in December. His recovery is going well and the Texans hope he'll be ready for Week 1.