[Remember to check the '2010 NFL Draft' section for all stories relating to the draft.]
Adam Koets and Guy Whimper have had several seasons to establish themselves as useful backup offensive linemen for our New York Giants. Neither has done so -- although Koets did at least provide some entertainment with bad snaps during last August's training camp while trying to learn to play center.
So, it is time for the Giants not only to look for some new starters along the offensive line. But, probably, some fresh blood among the reserves as well.
Mike Johnson of Alabama is a player who probably fits that description. Positional versatility, but perhaps not the ability to be a long-term starter. Johnson, a 6-foot-5, 312-pounder is the subject of today's Daily NFL Draft Prospect Profile.
DraftNasty described Johnson this way.
"When looking for versatility in an offensive lineman, very few will have more to offer in this year's draft than Alabama's Mike Johnson. After breaking the starting lineup in '07 at RT where he registered 10 starts, he has also started at RG and LT, while being the full-time starter at LG the past two seasons for the Crimson Tide."
Let's take a closer look.
Mike Johnson Scouting Reports
From Draft Countdown.
Excellent motor --- Tough --- Smart with terrific instincts and awareness --- Great work ethic --- Versatile --- Durable --- A ton of high - quality experience. Needs to get stronger --- Isn't stout at the point of attack --- Not very violent or physical --- Limited upside.
Saw extensive action at both tackle and guard and has demonstrated the ability to hold his own outside in a pinch --- Certainly not flashy but a solid all-around blocker with excellent intangibles --- Can compete for a starting job but should at the very least be a versatile valuable backup.
From NFL Draft Scout.
His great size, underrated athleticism and dependability are certain to make him one of the more heavily scrutinized offensive linemen available for the 2010 draft. ... Plays with a high motor. Versatile blocker with experience at all four exterior positions.
Impressive upper body strength. Excels as a run blocker. Adequate quickness for an interior lineman. Good footwork.
Johnson will be a great fit for a team that relies on the power running game, but he could struggle if drafted by a pass-first team. His skill set doesn't fit what most NFL teams are looking for these days, as more and more teams are favoring athletic linemen who can excel in the zone blocking schemes used frequently by teams that like to throw the ball. He should come off the board somewhere in the 3rd or 4th round, but don't be surprised if he falls further.
Why Johnson fits with the Giants
Adam Koets and Guy Whimper, that's why. Somebody has to replace those unproductive players on the Giants roster. Why not try to replace them with a guy who might be capable of playing both inside and outside, a great trait in a backup offensive lineman.
Why the Giants should pass
Because Johnson appears to be a guy who is likely to never be more than a backup at the NFL level. The Giants can use young offensive lineman, but they might want to find a player with a higher ceiling.
(E-mail Ed at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Big Blue View on Twitter.)