LUBBOCK, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 09: Jackson Powers-Johnson #58 of the Oregon Ducks lines up over the ball during the second half of the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium on September 09, 2023 in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
LUBBOCK, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 09: Jackson Powers-Johnson #58 of the Oregon Ducks lines up over the ball during the second half of the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium on September 09, 2023 in Lubbock, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

Jackson Powers-Johnson Underwhelms Former NFL Scout

Reading Time: 3 minutes
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – MARCH 3: Jackson Powers-Johnson #OL58 of Oregon participates in a drill during the NFL Combine at the Lucas Oil Stadium on March 3, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

I’ve heard a lot about Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson, but when I turned on his 2023 game film I wasn’t blown away.

That hasn’t stopped CBS, NFL.com, Draftwire, 33rd Team, Yahoo Sports, NBC Sports Boston, USA Today, SB Nation, ESPN, The Athletic, NY Post, Sporting News, Fox Sports, Pro Football Focus, Draft Kings, AP News, Bleacher Report, Barstool Sports and the LA Times from mocking him into the first round since March 1 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com).

I’m not seeing a first-round valuation in these four games from the 2023 season. I would have gone back and watched 2022 film as well (as I am trying to do with all the prospects this draft season), but he only started one game for Oregon that season and it wasn’t at center, it was at right guard according to his school’s website. Powers-Johnson played 44 snaps at center in 2022.

More concerns

Powers-Johnson’s lack of experience at center (13 starts) isn’t the only concern.

I have greater concerns than that beginning with his snapping.

In these four games, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix was in shotgun formation on every non-short yardage and two-point conversion attempt. That means he has next to no experience snapping the ball in game situations with a quarterback directly under center.

Per Pro Football Focus, Powers-Johnson has 64 snaps at center prior to 2023 if we throw in 2021.

That’s not all.

I was also not impressed with the velocity or location of his snaps. Nix had to reach down for countless snaps and when the televised games (links below) showed replays, I could see Nix was focused on the location of the snaps, which momentarily pre-occupied his mind when the snap should just be automatic and he should be focusing on other things instead of where the snap is coming in. Additionally, a lot of the snaps seemed to be softballs (lacking velocity). At best, the snap speeds were inconsistent which will factor into a quarterback’s ‘time to throw’ in the NFL.

Additional concerns

Body type ⎯he’s a little top-heavy.

He’s slightly rigid in his movements, which occasionally shows up out in space when he loses control and his balance attempting to make blocks.

Average playing speed ⎯he is inconsistent getting to the second level (where the linebackers line up pre-snap) or further downfield sometimes.

Biggest concern

There is nothing about Powers-Johnson in these four games that says, “Dominant.”

That is a pre-requisite to be considered as a first-round talent.

He didn’t wow me in the pass or run-blocking departments.

What are the positives?

This Oregon center is smart and competitive.

He has also mastered the art of leverage.

Powers-Johnson is good in pass protection despite not being challenged straight-up much at Oregon. He didn’t allow pressures or sacks in these four games.

That coincides with his numbers during the entire season. Per Pro Football Focus, in 2023, Powers-Johnson allowed zero sacks or hits and only one hurry.

Projection

Outside of clickbait projections, I look at NFL.com and how they view Powers-Johnson, and it’s not too different than how I view him.

I see Powers-Johnson as being a quality versatile backup who needs time to further acclimate and develop into the center position and best projects to being an average starting guard.

NFL.com doesn’t see him as an ‘elite talent’ either with a 6.36 grade (will eventually be a plus starter). On their grading scale, 6.0-6.09 translates to, “Traits or talent to be above-average backup.”

#58 Jackson Powers-Johnson 6-foot-3, 320 pounds

Daniel Kelly’s 2024 NFL Draft Grade: Third-Round (I would select him)

Projected by 47.0% of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of April 3, 2024 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)

2023 game film reviewed: Washington, Oregon State, Utah, and Colorado (click to view games watched to form this evaluation)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Compact stout prospect with equally distributed power who gives strong consistent effort. Wide upper body. Alert and active in pass protection. Sets up and maintains base and balance in the pocket. Blocking technician with a solid anchor. Willing to help other offensive linemen with their blocks and chip in. Tough and functional run blocker. Better closer to home. Hit and miss and showed inconsistent speed in space. Capable of combo blocks.

Final words

Powers-Johnson looked like a guard trying to play center.

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 is currently the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock, contributes at Yardbarker, and has written for Sports Illustrated Lions, Jets, and 49ers, as well as a featured guest on ESPN Radio and Fox Sports Radio. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. Follow on Twitter @firstroundmock.

Featured Articles

Spencer Rattler Franchise NFL QB

Reading Time: 3 minutes Watch South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler in 10 games from 2023 embedded into this article.

Read More...

Joe Milton III: GO BIG OR GO HOME

Reading Time: 3 minutes Watch Tennessee Volunteers' QB Joe Milton III in 12 games from 2023 embedded into this article.

Read More...

Dawg Mentality: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington Huskies

Reading Time: 3 minutes Watch eight games of Washington Huskies QB MIchael Penix Jr. embedded into this article.

Read More...

Jayden Daniels Spends Birthday Serving Those in Need

Reading Time: 2 minutes First Round Mock's Victoria Jonach looks into how Jayden Daniels spent his birthday.

Read More...

Get to Know The Name Olumuyiwa Fashanu

Reading Time: 3 minutes Watch four games of Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu embedded into this article.

Read More...

Bo Nix – the Ultimate Scholar Athlete

Reading Time: 3 minutes First Round Mock's Victoria Jonach looks into the details of Bo Nix's accomplishments and how they landed him a huge award.

Read More...

Iowa’s Cooper DeJean Transitioning to Safety in the NFL?

Reading Time: 3 minutes Watch Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean in six games embedded into this article.

Read More...

Marvin Harrison Jr. Doesn’t Like To Go Out of His Way

Reading Time: 3 minutes Watch Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. in eight games embedded into this article.

Read More...

QB Drake Maye: Bottom-Tier NFL Starter

Reading Time: 3 minutes Watch North Carolina QB Drake Maye in 14 games embedded into this article.

Read More...

Shocking 2024 NFL Draft Board Released: Quarterbacks

Reading Time: 8 minutes Get the most comprehensive insights available on quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Read More...