The Chargers take Boston College OG Zion Johnson with the 17th pick. Rating: A-

With the X pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the X selects Boston College OG Zion Johnson.


That doesn’t solve the Chargers’ defensive issues, but good luck getting anything done on defense against a left side of Johnson and Rashawn Slater. In consecutive years, Los Angeles has won top tackle (Slater) and top guard (Johnson) in their classes, and it’s hard to argue with that.

Height: 6’2 5/8″ (7th) Weight: 312 (53rd)
40-yard run: 5.18 seconds (68th)
10-yard gap: 1.75 seconds (72nd)
Bench press: 32 repetitions (89th)
Vertical jump: 32 inches (89th)
Long jump: 112 inches (91st)
3-taper drill: 7.38 seconds (92nd)
20-yard shuttle: 4.46 seconds (94th)

Wingspan: 82 3/8 inches (77th)
Arm length: 34 inches (65th)
Hand size: 10 5/8 inches (89th)

Organic : Johnson was a golf star at Riverdale Baptist School in Upper Marlboro, Md., and he didn’t try football until his junior year of high school. He started his senior season at right tackle, with Minnesota Vikings 2021 first-round pick Christian Darrisaw at left tackle. Still, Johnson’s lack of football experience left him an unstarred rookie out of high school, and he began his next leg at Davidson College, a private liberal arts school in North Carolina. Johnson got his big break in 2019, when former Davidson coach Phil Trautwein was hired at Boston College and awarded Johnson a scholarship. He played left guard for the Eagles in 2019, moved to left tackle in 2020, and returned to left guard in 2021. Johnson made the All-ACC First Team in 2021 and appeared in Reese’s Senior Bowl 2022 .

Statistics to know: Johnson’s 0.3% blown block rate in 2021 was the lowest of any NCAA offensive lineman, regardless of position. In three seasons at Boston College, he allowed just three sacks, nine quarterback hits and 24 quarterback rushes on 1,074 pass-blocking snaps.

Strengths: Most of the pressure Johnson allowed was more about stunts and blitzes not picked up by one side of the line overall; you just don’t see him being physically outmatched at all in the passing game. Even when defenders cross the line, as happened in that game against Clemson, Johnson got his guy out of the lineup.

On this run, watch him pass the twist either side, reach the second tier, and take the poor defender off the screen.

In fact, Johnson seems to have a preference for games in which he can access the second and third tiers so he can chase defenders to the parking lot. It’s fun to watch!

Weaknesses: Johnson will occasionally allow pressure down the side, but that’s not something that shows up over and over again – it’s just something to watch at the next level.

His deliberate reaction to stunts is a bigger issue. Johnson will need to identify defenders quicker as they move late into his goal.

Conclusion: Considering Johnson’s relative lack of experience at left guard, it’s pretty amazing how many nuances of the position he’s picked up. He’s transcendent, as he showed for three years when his varsity team transitioned from evenly zoned and gap-blocking heading into the 2021 heavy zone, and there’s not much to it. thing you see on the tape that you don’t like or can’t clean up fast enough with NFL-level coaching. He’s as plug-and-play as any IOL in this class, with tantalizing physical potential to reach Pro Bowl level over time.

NFL Comparison: Jahri Evans. Johnson presents himself well as a line and pull/sweep blocker, but it’s his ability to get down the field and only defend nuclear defenders in space that sets him apart and reminds me a lot of Evans, who can – to have been the best movement guard of his time. . On top of Evans, he was an indispensable part of Sean Payton’s attacks with his ability to hit (and kill) the second and third tiers of a defence, and I think Johnson throws the same way with an outstanding combination of power and agility.

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