Pros: A massive blocker that can engulf defenders as a run blocker. Moves well for his size and does decent job pulling and blocking on the second level. Gets good position and takes good angles, and no one can get around him. Does a nice job finishing his blocks. Flashes athleticism and footwork to move outside.
Cons: Can be underwhelming as a run blocker. Not really going to blow guys off the ball. Doesn't consistently lock. Needs to improve his technique in pass protection. Lunges and overextends. Needs to improve his balance. Not great in space and doesn't adjust well.
Overview: Johnson is a massive blocker with upside, but he tends to play more like a guy that is 320 pounds rather than a guy that could easily be pushing 400. Weight is a concern, as he showed up at the Senior Bowl around 380 pounds and probably needs to be monitored that he doesn't go past 360. Started at both guard spots at LSU and was the largest baby ever born in Louisiana (15 pounds, 14 ounces). So you know he's always been big and always will be.
NFL Forecast: There are several red ﬂags about Johnson that could keep him from being a dominant player. But he should at lest be an effective starter because of his size. He gets good position, but you want a player with his size to clear running lanes, something he doesn't consistently do. It might be motivation, or it might be conditioning. He's a capable player, but has great potential that rarely lives up to it. He could play outside at right tackle, but his footwork can be sloppy and would probably only work in a zone blocking scheme at that position. He'll be a starter in the NFL if for no other reason than his size, but will he live up to his potential? At this point, it seems doubtful. He could potentially be the next Shawn Andrews or Leonard Davis, but I don't think he will be that good. At this point, he's closer to Shawn's brother Stacy, who has massive size, but plagued by inconsistency. The weight definitely is going to have to be a concern for teams. It'll be the main issue if any prevents him from reaching his potential. He has the strong position of being a guy that has his weight balloon up in the off-season and gets off to slow starts in the summer because he's forced to lose 20-30 pounds. While he'll be at his best around the 350-360 range, I expect he constantly be in the 375-400 pound range each May when mini-camps roll around. Whichever teams takes him to be prudent that instead of workout bonuses, they give him weight bonuses. If he shows up under a certain weight in May and maintains it through August, he gets a specific bonus.
ATL Forecast: Johnson has upside to play for the Falcons. His size potential alone will probably get him a starting opportunity here in Atlanta. But he could easily be outworked by guys like Dahl and Blalock. And at this point, unless he shows significant improvement in his footwork, he's not really going to stick at right tackle. He offers potential there, and the Falcons might decide to develop him there, but more than likely he won't surpass Clabo. He could be an effective starter there but will need help. He's more likely to come closer to reaching his potential as a guard, but probably has greater upside outside.
Value: Johnson has first round potential, but because of his weight issues I wouldn't take him until Round Three.
Scouting Reports of centers, guards, and offensive tackles in the 2009 NFL Draft.
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