COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 01: Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) blocks during a college football game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on October 1, 2022 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 01: Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) blocks during a college football game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on October 1, 2022 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Paris Johnson Jr. Leaves Former NFL Scout With Questions

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Paris Johnson Jr. is just about everything an NFL team would want based on his 2021 game film.

The key phrase being, “just about.”

He’s a massive mauler who gives it everything he has to give.

This season, Ohio State moved him to left tackle (LT), but I will not be grading that game film for a couple of months.

This evaluation is strictly based upon his 2021 performance.

If Johnson gets his big mitts on a defender during a run, it’s over

Johnson graded out as a better run blocker than he did in pass protection.

He was nearly flawless run blocking showing good technique and dominant brute power.

Johnson played with good leverage and he loved to pancake block.

What did he look like in pass pro?

The thing that stuck out most were his hands.

He showed excellent hand techniques by getting his hands in position right away, and by using them well to battle and maintain control.

It wasn’t always pretty with Johnson, but he got the job done a high percentage of the time.

He didn’t give up any sacks in this three-game study, but he did give up a few pressures.

What are the main concerns?

Even as a guard, I am concerned about a couple of things.

In this study, Johnson was spotty blocking in space. He additionally opened the inside gate in all three of these games, and showed he was susceptible to quick pass rush moves.

🚩Johnson is not an elite athlete, nor does he have elite footwork🚩

While Johnson did the job most of the time at guard, I have serious reservations about him playing on the edge in more space.

Lining up at tackle requires even better athleticism and footwork than being a guard, but I will reserve judgement until I review his 2022 game film.

The other concern was consistently in all three of these games, he was subbed out and replaced with No. 55 Matthew Jones for a few series here and there.

Johnson is versatile

Teams in the NFL like offensive linemen who are versatile and can play multiple positions.

With Johnson playing RG in 2021, and now sliding out to LT in 2022, he is showing he can offer versatility to a team at the next level.

That is a big plus.

I like Johnson, but I don’t love him

It’s odd, because normally I absolutely love physical mauling offensive linemen.

However, Johnson did not grow on me. He didn’t leave me feeling excited or wanting to see more of him on game film.

I really liked his teammate Nicholas Petit-Frere at LT in 2021, so much so, I gave him a first-round grade. He ended up going in the third-round to the Titans.

#77 Paris Johnson Jr. 6-foot-6, 310 pounds

Daniel Kelly’s Grade: Second-Round – Early Fall 2022 Report

First Round Mock Big Board: TBD

Projected by 93.4% of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of October 10, 2022 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)

2021 game film reviewed: Penn State, Purdue and Michigan State (click to watch film used to form this evaluation)

Level of competition: High

2021 stats: 79.1 grade (pff.com)

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report:

Massive strong framed guard with decent athleticism and average footwork. Looks alert and plays with a high effort level battling on every rep. Sets up with a wide base in pass pro and uses hands and size well to shield at the point of attack. Decent, but not rock solid anchor when challenged. Good in combo blocks and looks to help out. Good job handling stunts and blitzes. Consistently susceptible to opening the gate and giving up pressure on quick moves. Hit and miss in space on screens. Uses his size, aggression and leverage to be a road grinder on running plays. Loves to finish. Inconsistent sustaining and maintaining balance. Ends up on the ground a lot. Good at pulling. Inconsistent at the second-level. Solid prospect.

What to watch for during the 2022 college football season:

  1. How does he look in pass pro at LT?
  2. How does he look against quick pass-rush moves?
  3. How is he in space?
  4. Does he stay in the games consistently?

How Johnson looks in these areas will determine his final grade.

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated New York Jets and he is the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.

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