X

Paris Johnson Jr. NFL Draft 2023: Scouting Report for Ohio State OT

BR NFL Scouting DepartmentContributor I

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 01: Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) blocks during a college football game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on October 1, 2022 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

HEIGHT: 6'6"

WEIGHT: 310

HAND: TBD

ARM: TBD

WINGSPAN: TBD


40-YARD DASH: TBD

3-CONE: TBD

SHUTTLE: TBD

VERTICAL: TBD

BROAD: TBD


POSITIVES

— Very good athletic ability with light feet, fluid movement skills and the ability to retain his balance and recover out of compromising positions.

— Proficient run-blocker with the footwork and leverage to consistently fit, control, steer and sustain blocks while being a weapon on the move off of combo blocks, cut-offs and screens.

— Plays with excellent effort and brings an edge physically to find work when uncovered, drive his feet and generate knockdowns as a finisher.

— Has the foot quickness and range on an island in pass-protection to mirror, redirect and cut off rushers that work his edges.

— Can effectively close space, latch and end reps quickly using jump sets.


NEGATIVES

— Inconsistent anchoring ability and stopping power that causes him to gradually get opened up and walked back into the pocket.

— Middling lower body strength and power.

— Needs to improve his weight distribution and hand placement to locate the hip of rushers and maintain control of rushers at the top of the QB's drop to prevent leaning and late penetration inside.

— Has a bad habit of relying too much on the two-hand strike that can expose him to inside counters (Ex: Play 79 of 2022 game against Michigan).


NOTES

— Consensus 5-star prospect and the top tackle recruit in the nation coming out of Princeton High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, per 247Sports composite rating.

— 25 career starts; 13 at right guard in 2021 as a true sophomore and 11 at left tackle in 2022 as a true junior.

— Johnson is an academic standout with consecutive selections to the Academic All-Big Ten teams (2021 & 2022) and earned honors each year of his high school career.


OVERALL

Paris Johnson Jr. is a two-year starter inside Ohio State's balanced, spread offense and multiple run scheme, with 13 starts at right guard in 2021 and 11 starts at left tackle in 2022. Johnson has a lean body type with good length and very good athletic ability.

Johnson is a smooth mover in pass protection with the quickness and body control to mirror edge-rushers on an island, close space on jump sets and recover out of compromising positions against counter moves. He carries his hands near his midsection, ready to fire, and flashes independent strikes to keep rushers off balance with a snatch technique to mix in against the long-arm technique.

Johnson is active and alert with fluid movement skills to handle dual-reads, pick up basic stunts and provide quick help when uncovered. Johnson shows average-level play strength in his anchor, which causes him to gradually get pried open and walked back in the pocket.

He also shows a habit of turning, running and leaning on rushers up the arc that will need to get cleaned up to prevent losing inside near the top of the QB's drop. However, he is in just his first year at tackle with the physical traits to add polish over time.

Johnson is an efficient, skilled run-blocker. He does a nice job squaring up defenders on kick-out blocks and syncing his feet, hips and hands once engaged to create lift, control and steer defenders away from the ball.

Johnson smoothly works combination blocks and ricochets up to the second level under control to pick off targets while being an asset on the move as a lead blocker on tosses and screens. He plays with a physical, aggressive demeanor and consistently runs his feet to finish blocks throughout games.

He can get overaggressive at the point of attack and lean into contact on drive blocks, causing him to be vulnerable to the push-pull technique but gives himself a chance to refit and recover due to outstanding balance.

Overall, Johnson is an extremely athletic, coordinated mover with the movement skills and body control to play on an island in pass-protection while being an asset in the zone run game, working combo blocks and tracking targets on the move. Johnson needs to refine his use of hands and improve his anchoring ability to better handle power but has enough clear strengths in his game to be an immediate starter with room to become an impact player over his first contract.


GRADE: 8.2 (Year 1 Starter)

OVERALL RANK: 20

POSITION RANK: OT2

PRO COMPARISON: Brian O'Neill


Written by B/R NFL Scout Brandon Thorn