2022 NFL Draft: Zion Johnson Scouting Report

Zion Johnson NFL Draft
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Zion Johnson NFL Draft Overview

Position: Offensive Guard
Height: 6’-3″
Weight: 312 pounds
School: Boston College

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Zion Johnson 2022 NFL Draft Profile

Zion Johnson is one of the most versatile interior linemen coming out of the 2022 NFL Draft. Coming out of high school, Johnson started his collegiate career with the Davidson Wildcats, making eight starts at right tackle in his freshman year and 11 starts in his sophomore year. In his sophomore year, Johnson was named first-team All-Pioneer Football League.

Based on a decision to further his education, he transferred to Boston College after his sophomore year. In his junior season and his first with the Boston College Eagles, Johnson started seven games at left guard and was named All-Atlantic Coast Conference. He earned Offensive Player Of The Week Three Times that season. In his senior season, Johnson moved to left tackle and started 11 games for the Eagles. He made the Third-Team All-ACC after his senior season.

Though eligible for the 2021 NFL Draft, Johnson exercised his option to return to Boston College for an extra year. He was able to do this since college athletes, who played during the 2020 COVID pandemic, were granted an extra year of eligibility after play. Johnson switched back to left guard for his final season with the Eagles. He made the First-Team All-ACC and First-Team All-American after his final season.

Johnson was invited to the 2022 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama where he showed off his versatility, playing both guard and center. He also showed that he can elevate his play against higher levels of competition.

Strengths

  • Can play center and guard;
  • Mirror ability is great;
  • Great balance;
  • A fit for wide-zone and gap schemes;
  • Smart with angles;
  • Not vulnerable to the bull rush;
  • Very alert/smart player;
  • Injury-free.

Weaknesses

  • Not consistent enough with moving guys with his hands on single blocks;
  • Messy first step calls for improvement;
  • Pad level can be high;
  • Can be late reacting to linebackers shooting the gap.

Teams With Need at Position: Chicago Bears, New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons, Las Vegas Raiders, San Francisco 49ers

Projection: First Round

Bottom Line On Zion Johnson

Zion Johnson is undoubtedly one of the best interior offensive linemen coming out of this year’s draft class, if not the best. His versatility makes him expendable at either guard or center at the next level. Tackle is on the table, but his best tape comes from the interior of the offensive line. Johnson is solid in pass protection, especially with his ability to mirror opposing rushers. As for his run blocking attributes, he is smart with angles and fits both zone and gap schemes used at the next level. Having a good football IQ along with being situationally aware is something that could place him on a center needy team.

There is stuff to clean up with Johnson, despite all of the positives. He will need to get better blocking blitzing linebackers in the gap as well as being able to handle single blocks in the running game. Moving players on single blocks will only make him a better guard at the next level.

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