Weight: 254 lbs
School: Florida State
NFL Combine Data:
40 Yard Dash: 4.58s
Jermaine Johnson NFL Draft Profile
Johnson has spent five years of college football molding into the stout prospect he is now. The EDGE began his collegiate career in JUCO at Independence community college and dominated lower-level football. After two seasons at ICC, he was rated as a consensus top-three JUCO recruit before joining the Georgia Bulldogs in 2019. Johnson played two seasons in Athens but opted to transfer to FSU following a lack of playing time at the end of the 2020 season. He then went on to have his best year to date as a senior with the Seminoles and became one of the nation’s most dominant defenders.
In his final season of Division 1 football, Johnson played in each of FSU’s 12 games; registering 17.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, two and two forced fumbles on route to winning ACC Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named an All-American by multiple outlets and was a Ted Hendricks Award finalist before losing out to Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson.
Johnson excels in almost every raw aspect as a pass rusher. He has a long and rangy frame that awards him a huge tackle radius and has enough raw power to stun his opponents at the point of attack. There is a ton of pop from his punch and his explosive first step (see rep against Miami’s Jerrid Williams). Johnson can also simply overwhelm offensive tackles with his violent hands (watch his reps against OT Max Mitchell at the Senior Bowl).
His deceptive speed allows him to sidestep tackles. His endless motor keeps him in almost every play to the very end. The biggest thing missing from Johnson’s game is a little more finesse. While Johnson has all the power and effort in the world, he can find himself losing track of plays because of the aggressive style he plays with. He has the ability to set firm edges but still needs to play with more awareness instead of relying on his tackle radius and athleticism.
- Plays with a violent combination of speed and power
- Full toolbox of pass rushing moves including a club and rip move, bull rush, and speed rush
- Long and strong frame gives him the ability to bring down ball carriers with a huge tackle radius
- Dominated the senior bowl, convincingly winning a ton of reps in the 1 on 1s
- Can transfer power from his hips into his bull rush aided by an incredibly explosive first step
- Great change of direction and agility allows him to catch offensive tackles out with body feints
- Can simply sidestep and run by offensive linemen
- Will sometimes try and guess plays instead of reading them as they develop
- Occasionally lowers his head into his bull rush and will lose sight of the ball
- Can lose a lot of momentum if his bull rush does not stun his opponent
- Stiff hipped and showcases little bend
NFL Comparison: Demarcus Lawrence
Teams with need at the position: Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks
Projection: first round
Bottom line on Jermaine Johnson
Johnson is an incredibly violent and urgent EDGE. Coaches can play him as either a 4-3 defensive end or 3-4 linebacker as a pro. While he is yet to play as a three-down player, Johnson has shown the ability to rip, power, swim, club, and occasionally spin his way to the quarterback as a pass rusher. Regardless, he should be a Day 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and could squeeze his way into the top-10 based on his ability to combine a number of pass rushing moves with incredible range. He overwhelmed almost every tackle he lined up against at the Senior Bowl. There is little doubt he can be an early contributor in the NFL. Johnson having the most success amongst the rookie EDGEs in 2022 would not be a surprise.
Games watched: Notre Dame (2021), UNC (2021), NC State (2021), Miami FL (2021)