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Zion Johnson NFL Draft 2022: Scouting Report for Boston College IOL

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor I

Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6'2 5/8"

WEIGHT: 312

HAND: 10 5/8"

ARM: 34"

WINGSPAN: 6'10 3/8"

40-YARD DASH: 5.18

3-CONE: 7.38

SHUTTLE: 4.46

VERTICAL: 32"

BROAD: 9'4"

POSITIVES

— Stout, compact build throughout his frame with thick limbs and a rugged, physical playing style.

— Plays with a low center of gravity, good pad level and very good play strength to root his feet and anchor against the bull rush.

— Impressive mobility in his lower half with a consistently wide, strong base and tight elbows to leverage blocks, sustain and maximize his power output.

— Smooth and patient in pass protection to handle stunts and twists with alert eyes, patience and the spatial awareness to maintain levels with his linemates.

— Outstanding run-blocker who creates consistent movement on double-teams with same foot/shoulder technique to hit, lift and drive opponents off the ball. Has good feel for when to overtake and release to the second level.

— Takes good tracks and angles as a puller and at the second level to line up his target with overwhelming strength to finish once latched.

— Provides thump to cave in and feed defenders on double-teams using a gallop technique and when uncovered looking for work in pass protection.

NEGATIVES

— Can lose his balance late in the rep against stout run defenders that find a way inside his frame for control.

— Doesn't redirect suddenly and can be late to pick up quick-trigger linebackers shooting gaps.

2021 STATISTICS

— 11 starts (10 at LG, 1 at LT)

NOTES

— Was a 0-star recruit with one offer to play at FCS Davidson College.

— Two-year starter (19 starts) and All-Conference first-team selection at Davidson in a triple-option offense.

— Transferred to Boston College in 2019. Started seven games at left guard in 2019, 11 games at left tackle in 2020 and 11 games (10 at LG, 1 at LT) so far in 2021.

— Graded out as the team's best lineman in 2020 while missing only two snaps all season and was named a team captain.

— Johnson accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl in 2020 before deciding to return to school and again accepted the invite to attend this season.
— Named the practice player of the week at the Senior Bowl.

OVERALL

Johnson is a former 0-star recruit who played in Davidson's triple-option offense for two years before transferring to Boston College in 2019. Johnson has started 29 games over that span (17 at LG, 12 at LT) in a predominantly multiple-run scheme.

Johnson is a stout pass protector with the patience and processing to handle stunts effectively and the strength to anchor against power to create a firm pocket. He is also patient and accurate with his strike timing to create leverage with his hands and mirror against shiftier rushers who want to attack either edge.

Johnson plays with a strong base, low center of gravity and excellent grip strength to hit, lift and drive defenders off the ball with the control to sustain and finish blocks consistently. He is fundamentally and technically sound with his aiming points and footwork to fit on different alignments on the first and second levels in all run concepts (inside/outside zone, duo).

Johnson is more of a smooth than explosive athlete in space, so when he has to redirect and adjust his track against second-level defenders with a quick trigger, he can be a tick late getting to the spot. Overall, he is a polished, well-rounded player with the play strength, power and body control to be a reliable, plus starter in a downhill or multiple-run scheme.


GRADE
: 8.3 (Year 1 Starter - Late 1st-2nd Round)

OVERALL RANK: 20

POSITION RANK: IOL2

PRO COMPARISON: Kevin Zeitler

Written by B/R NFL Scout Brandon Thorn

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