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2023 NFL Draft prospect profile - Paris Johnson Jr, OT, Ohio State

Johnson should be one of the first offensive linemen off the board

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOV 26 Michigan at Ohio State Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFL is constantly starved for starting caliber offensive linemen, and that’s particularly true of the offensive tackle position.

Humans who are capable of playing offensive tackle at a high level are just rare. The position has a high athletic premium, and there just aren’t that many men walking the Earth who are over 6-foot-5, with long arms, 300+ pound frames, and the movement skills to block NFL caliber pass rushers.

So when a prospect comes along who checks all the athletic boxes and shows he can play the position at a major college, that prospect is often drafted highly.

Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. has only been an offensive tackle for one year, moving from left guard to left tackle in 2022. But he played well in his one year starting at the position and looks like an offensive line coach ordered him from a catalogue. He’s probably going to be one of the first offensive linemen drafted in 2023.

Prospect: Paris Johnson Jr. (77)
Games Watched: vs. Notre Dame (2022), vs. Iowa (2022), vs. Northwestern (2022), vs. Michigan (2022)


Courtesy Kent Lee Platte (@mathbomb) |

Games Played: 25 (12 in 2022)

Quick Summary

Best: Length, athleticism, leverage, play strength, competitive toughness
Worst: Hand usage, technique
Projection: A starting offensive tackle with scheme versatility.

Game Tape

(Johnson is OSU LT number 77)

Full Report

Ohio State University’s Paris Johnson Jr. is a long, athletic, powerful, and competitive offensive tackle prospect.

Johnson has a prototypical build for the tackle position at 6-foot-6, 313 pounds, and has exceptionally long 36-inch arms. He carries his bulk very well and is an easy, fluid mover despite his size. That combination of length and athleticism allows him to match up well with speed rushers off the edge. He’s easily able to get width and depth on his kick-slide, mirroring speed while remaining controlled and balanced. Likewise, his long arms allow him to effectively block a wide area and force rushers wide around the pocket – or seal the B-gap if a rusher takes an inside move.

Johnson does a good job of remaining unhurried in the face of stunts, twists, or delayed blitzes. Likewise, he’s careful to keep his hips as parallel as possible to the line of scrimmage until late in the rep. Johnson plays with great competitive toughness and fights to sustain his blocks, offering second and third efforts to keep his quarterback clean. He also consistently looks for work if he doesn’t have anyone to block.

Johnson is a natural knee bender and plays with great hip and pad level throughout the rep. Not only does that help him anchor against power rushers in pass protection, but it also helps to make him a very good run blocker. Johnson is a scheme diverse run blocker, with the movement skills to execute zone blocking schemes, as well as climb to the second level or get in space as a pulling tackle. His agility allows him to accurately block linebackers or defensive backs in space, and he seldom misses a block when pulling.

He also has great play strength, which allows him to create movement at the point of attack when executing a power run scheme. He also shows impressive core strength in torquing defenders and digging them out of running lanes. Johnson’s toughness also shows up as run blocker, and he frequently looks to finish his blocks with the defender on the ground.

The main flaw in Johnsons’ game is in his technique and hand usage. He only has one season of starting at the tackle position at Ohio State, and that shows up on tape. His hands are frequently late and usually land outside of defenders’ framework. Those late and wide hands compromise his length advantage and give up his chestplate. His impressive play strength can compensate for losing inside leverage to the defender, and he can manage to avoid losing even if the defender is in position to take control of him.

However, his wide hands can be exploited by savvy pass rushers, and could also draw holding penalties at the NFL level. This likely won’t impact Johnson’s draft stock, but coaches will need a plan of development to get him ready to face NFL caliber rushers.

Overall Grade: 8.1


Paris Johnson Jr. projects as a starting offensive tackle at the NFL level.

He has experience as a guard, having started at left guard for the entire 2021 season, but his future is at tackle. Johnson has the movement skills to match up with speed rushers off the edge in the NFL, as well as the play strength and leverage to effectively anchor against power rushers.

It speaks to Johnson’s play strength that he’s able to effectively deal with both speed and power rushers despite rarely using his length to its fullest advantage. Johnson’s long arms are an undeniable asset, but he needs to learn how to consistently use them while kick-sliding. His punch is often late and his hands drift wide, landing on the outside of defenders’ shoulder pads. Not only does that give up his chest plate – and give defenders’ inside leverage to try and control him – it allows shorter-armed defenders to gain purchase they shouldn’t. It also creates opportunities for technicians to attack a single arm and slip past him.

Johnson has immense upside and the potential to be a good starting tackle at the NFL level, and he’ll be drafted highly because of that. But that also means that he’ll be expected to start very early in his career (probably immediately). So coaches will need to begin working on his technique issues as soon as they get their hands on him. He might have a rocky start to his career, but a team should be handsomely rewarded for investing in him.