As the NFL season winds down, FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL draft scouting reports before the combine in March. Here's a look at Paris Johnson Jr.
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2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Paris Johnson Jr. (OT – Ohio State)
Paris Johnson Jr. (OT – Ohio State)
6'6" - 310 lbs.
Five-star tackle recruit who played just 26 snaps as a freshman before taking over the starting right guard position for the Buckeyes last season, totaling 768 snaps and finishing with zero sacks, one hit, and thirteen hurries allowed while being flagged for three penalties (the team's tackles last year were eventual third-round pick Nicholas Petit-Frere and Dawand Jones.) Moved to left tackle this past year and started thirteen games, allowing just two sacks.
Big, well-built lineman who should meet every team's size requirements, and who offers impressive length for a pro lineman as well. Has experience at both tackle and guard in the Buckeyes' zone run scheme, which was overhauled this year with the hire of offensive line coach Justin Frye, formerly at UCLA. Fires out low and does a good job of attacking an opponent's shoulder and generating movement with effective leg drive after contact. Able to win in a phone booth against bigger interior defenders. Has the short-area quickness to chip and recover to block another defender. Tough player who works hard to sustain/finish through the whistle, with solid grip strength. Nice knee bend and a stable base in his pass sets. Polished overall footwork. Shows solid lateral quickness and controlled movements to defend against speed. Active with his hands and does a good job of resetting them as needed through the snap. Drops an early anchor against power. Keeps his head on a swivel and seeks out opponents to block. Should be able to fit in both man and zone-based schemes.
Hand placement could be more consistent; sometimes high and outside on the shoulder pads. Recovers quickly, but can occasionally be jolted on initial contact. As a taller player, minor issues with bending at the waist crop up occasionally. Looks a little bit more comfortable handling power than he does getting depth to protect the edge. Recovery quickness looks more average, occasionally forcing him to settle for trying to force opponents deep by attacking their side instead of mirroring. Wasn't asked to pull that much as an interior lineman.
The best Buckeyes offensive line prospect since Taylor Decker, Johnson has an outstanding combination of size, length, toughness, grip strength, power, technique, and short-area movement skills which should allow him to protect the edge at the next level while adding something to a team's run game as well. Unlike some of the other top tackle prospects in this year's class, also has an impressive season at guard under his belt, something which could allow teams to bring him along slowly if needed without having to worry about how well he'd fit on the inside. May have the best overall mix of polish and tools in the class.
Projection: Round 1
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