One name that has been frequently mentioned since the beginning of the 2022 NFL Draft prospect is Jermaine Johnson. Johnson went from a JUCO player to the Georgia Bulldogs, before transferring to Florida State and having his breakout season in 2021. From his tape to his Senior Bowl week performance, to the combine, Johnson just keeps adding to his draft stock. Let’s see why Jermaine is one of the most talked-about defenders in the draft.
Position: 4-3 DE/3-4 OLB
Weight: 262 lbs
- No edge defender in this draft class plays the run better than Jermaine. The former Seminole is a monster in the run game, using his high IQ and athleticism to wiggle through gaps and make plays in the backfield. This dude is an NFL-ready run defender who will instantly contribute in that area on defense. He sets a hard edge and coaches will covet the boost he will bring to the run defense.
- In order to be a successful pass rusher in the NFL, you must have active and violent hands. Jermaine Johnson has exactly that. When watching his tape, it is evident that he has a wide variety of hand counters and rush moves. He shows heavy hands as a pass rusher and his pass rush approach projects very well as he makes the transition into the NFL.
- Jermaine Johnson is without a doubt one of the smartest draft prospects in the class. His high IQ pops out on tape whether he is plugging back door gaps or signaling shifts for the defensive line. Whoever drafts Jermaine Johnson is getting a true student of the game.
- One qualm I have with Johnson’s game is his lack of finesse. There is no doubt he’s an ultra physical player but that doesn’t mean he can’t mix in a little bit of elegance into his pass rush plans. I know that Jermaine Johnson is a great athlete, he just needs to show it a bit more in his game.
- Johnson’s most natural position is as a 4-3 DE to me and he has just one year of experience there in 2021 with Florida State. He may not be as polished as someone like Aidan Hutchinson but that’s nit-picking.
Jermaine Johnson II is easily one of the best defenders in this year’s draft class. He put some incredible plays on tape in 2021, he killed the senior bowl, he killed the combine, and it sounds like he is blowing away front offices during interviews. No edge defender in the class has the polished run defense of Johnson and he has the foundation to be a highly productive sack artist. This guy is scheme friendly and will be a hard worker so that he can reach his ceiling as fast as possible. I can’t wait to watch Jermaine Johnson II as a rookie and for years to come.
Team Fits: Texans, Jets, Giants, Falcons, Seahawks
Draft Projection: Top Ten Pick
Player Comparison: Brian Burns