Drafted: ROUND: 1 - Pick Number: 26 (NYJ)
Draft Profile: BioEven though Johnson had an ideal build at 6-5, 262-pounds, he was only considered a two-star prospect by ESPN out of high school where he was ranked as the 105th weakside defensive end in 2017. He was academically ineligible to be drafted so headed to junior college (JUCO) at Independence Community College in Kansas where he was featured on the Netflix show 'Last Chance U'. He had a great year there and this opened the door to top-level schools where he was recruited heavily by Georgia - which he ultimately opted to join.
In 2020 he was played out of position as a standup linebacker and only logged 2 sacks and 12 QB hurries. 2020 wasn't much better where he played in seven games and was part of a rotation where he logged 4 sacks and 4 hurries while playing on 189 snaps. This lack of playing time led Johnson to transfer to Florida for the 2021 season.
Playing his more natural position of defensive end he finally showed the kind of player he could be - chalking up 14 sacks and 25 QB hurries and in doing so became the leader of the FSU defense. Johnson was handed the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year award as a result and a likely high selection in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Scouting Report: Strengths
- When given the opportunity he became the leader of the FSU defense - really grew into the role
- Has ridiculous athletic skills - at only 15, he benched 300 pounds, ran a 4.5 40-yard dash, and put up a 4.55 5-10-5 shuttle
- He has ideal size for an edge rusher at 6'5" and 262 lbs is tall and lean
- Tougher between the tackles than many expect.
- Is extremely physical at the point of attack
- Nice loose hips give him great lateral ability
- Nice bag of pass rush moves - has well-developed hands, a nice spin move, double hand swipe rip, and a powerful bull rush
- Can provide a powerful inside rush - his stunts are a nightmare for offensive lineman
- Has a filled-out frame with good thickness. Plays at full speed at all times with an active motor and determined quickness in pursuit.
- Spent a lot of time outside the box in coverage while at Georgia so has the experience and zone ability to play as a standup linebacker
- Downhill defender and physical tackler. Uses his eyes to decipher and break down the play, showing good awareness and discipline to sniff out fakes.
- Dominated in senior bowl practices displaying elite speed and strength. He won most of his one-on-one reps during practice — and making the opposing offensive tackles look silly
Scouting Report: Weaknesses
- Limited experience having only played one year at his natural position at defensive end
- Hits up high and misses more tackles than he should.
- Can be engulfed by bigger offensive tackles and struggle to get away from them
- Limited vision and is easily fooled by misdirection. Lacks range and lateral agility in coverage.
- Will need to develop his skills as a defensive end at the next level. While it is obvious it is his natural position it's also obvious he lacks some high level technique
Scouting Report: SummaryJohnson has been rocketing up draft boards after his dominating 2021 season with FSU. He has massive upside as a pass rusher with all athletic tools you could wish for. If he doesn't blow up the combine it will be a major surprise.
If Johnson can continue to develop at the position that he is still relatively new at - we expect him to have a big impact at the next level and possibly put up double-digit sack numbers.
Don't be surprised if he slides into the bottom of the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, although we consider him more of a mid-second selection.
How other scouting services rate Jermaine Johnson II (Overall Rank)
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