- Height 6’ 6”
- Weight: 310lbs
- College: Ohio State
- Year: Junior
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- Number: 77
Paris Johnson Jr came into the college ranks as a big-time recruit. Ranked both as a 5 start recruit bt ESPN and 247 Sports, Johnson opted to turn down offers from Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and Michigan State in favour of hooking up with the Buckeyes.
As a freshman, Johnson was limited in play – seeing action in 4 games at guard, including the College Football Playoff loss to Alabama. In his limited snap count, he allowed only one QB hurry, no QB hits and one sack.
2021 was a breakthrough year for the Buckeye, starting 13 games and logging 768 snaps – all at the right guard position. Johnson was dominant figure on the Ohio State O-line, not giving up any sacks and only allowing his QB to be hit once.
However, his athletic profile and natural position is offensive tackle and he has made the switch for the 2022 season, playing on the left side of the Buckeyes offensive line. Johnson has shone this year, and improved his draft stock no end with the switch outside. QB CJ Stroud has clearly been drawing the plaudits but Johnson has played a major role in keeping him upright and doing his thing.
Not only is Johnson physically talented on the football field but he is both academically gifted and has displayed a philanthropic nature. He set up his own foundation – The Paris Johnson Jr Foundation – whilst still in high school with the mission to obtain resources for disabled veterans and student athletes. Quite the achievement for such a young man. As well as majoring in Journalism, Johnson also speaks Mandarin, and has been learning Portuguese!
- Run game nastiness
Paris Johnson Jr is one of those types of players that you would always love to have on your side. He exudes a positive attitude towards the game. He is a true competitor, never giving up on a play. His leadership qualities and competitive streak are going to be loved by coaches at all levels of the game.
Johnson is a powerhouse in the run game. He has the skills to win at the point of attack, whilst also displaying enough athleticism to pull effectively and become a lead blocker in the run. Johnson is more than capable of dealing with opposing linebackers whilst on the move. He is a mauler, who understands how to take up good angles whilst running block, and is regularly seen throwing opposing defenders off track.
As mentioned earlier, Johnson has all the dimensions necessary to play at the offensive tackle. Unofficial measurements have him at 6’6” and around the 310lbs mark. However possibly even more impressive is his wingspan, with an impressive measurement of 35.5” arm length at the All-American bowl. Arm length is a topic that comes up every year when evaluating offensive linemen and their future prospects in the NFL – Johnson checks this box and we can move on swiftly. Not only does he have the requisite measurements, but on tape he uses that length to his advantage.
- Hand usage
- Upper-body strength
- Tendency to lunge
Whilst Johnson is an intriguing prospect he is by no means perfect. It is very rare, however, that offensive linemen are by the time they enter the NFL. When he does, Johnson will have only started for 1 season at tackle at the college level.
Johnson, with time, will need to improve his hand usage. His hands have the potential to be devastating but his timing and placement are not always as consistent as you would like them to be. This can lead, at times, to opposing defenders getting inside him and controlling the contact. You can see this is developing all the time and this progress is promising for the next step. Some work with NFL conditioning and coaching staff should also see him improve his upper body strength to become even more imposing.
For me, I think due to his eagerness and competitive nature, Johnson can appear a little impatient at times and lunges forward to initiate contact with opponents. This lunging can lead to him being off balance and countered by savvy defenders.
Paris Johnson Jr is a top-level draft prospect in the upcoming 2023 NFL draft. A rare mix of desired size and athleticism, Johnson is sure to take the fancy of many a GM come April time. There is no clear consensus as to who the top tackle prospect is this year. Would it surprise me to see Paris Johnson off the board first among them? Absolutely not.
How good of a prospect is Paris Johnson? Let us know over on Twitter @NinetynineYards
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