LIJetsFan Posted January 31 Share Posted January 31 (note by OP: somewhat of an interesting take except for his 5th round grade the last sentence which taint the entire article) Why the Jets Should Change Jermaine Johnson's Position This former scout thinks Jermaine Johnson needs to change positions in order to be an impactful defender going forward. DANIEL KELLY 16 HOURS AGO Several rookies shined for the Jets, but first-round pick Jermaine Johnson wasn't one of them. Johnson, who was the third of three first-round picks for New York in the 2022 NFL Draft (No. 26 overall) got selected after the team took cornerback Ahmad Gardner (No. 4) and wide receiver Garrett Wilson (No. 10). Gardner was recently named as the Defensive Rookie of the Year and Wilson was named as the Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America. What happened to Johnson? To make a long story short, he never materialized. Johnson battled injuries for a spell, and played in 14 games while logging a 27.42% defensive snap count. His special teams snap count was almost as high at 23.70%. Anytime you see a first-round defender playing almost as much on special teams as his regular defensive position, this is a very bad sign. The low defensive snap count additionally reveals his coaches didn't see enough out of Johnson in practice or the games, to push those in front of him on the depth chart for the rookie to have more playing time. Johnson finished the season with 29 tackles (18 solo, 11 assists) and 2.5 sacks. What do these stats tell us? Johnson's stats further reflect why he had such low snap count, and his stats say he's not doing enough of what the Jets drafted him to do, which is get to the quarterback. This is no surprise to me, as I had a 2022 documented pre-draft fifth-round grade on Johnson. His college game film revealed to me that he lacked the power, bend and pass rush moves it would take to become a dominant edge rusher in the National Football League. Johnson looked like a very vanilla pass rusher at Florida State. However, the two things he had going for him on game film were his hustle and effort, and that's in fact how he made it from Last Chance U to where he is today. It is also that hustle and effort that caused him to make that spectacular sack of Buffalo's quarterback Josh Allen, that everyone still loves to reminisce about. Allen was rolling out to Johnson's side and after Johnson managed to get off his block, he raced out and tripped up the Bills' dynamic passer for a sack. It was a huge play and it was the thing highlights are made of. While it was only one play, it showed something very telling. That one play illustrated what Johnson's capabilities are when he doesn't have an offensive lineman right in his face to deal with. Should the Jets explore moving Johnson to outside linebacker? From a scouting standpoint, in terms of raw characteristics, the move makes sense and it plays more to Johnson's strengths. It may also become a move New York will have to make out of necessity. There is little chance the Jets will be able to afford to bring back their second-leading tackler these past two seasons: free agent, Quincy WIlliams. With the distinct possibility of losing him, sliding a raw dynamic athlete who excels at making plays in space sounds more appealing by the second. What's the alternative? Another season of low snap count and sack production for Johnson, as he continues to flounder on the edge? As an evaluator, I believe moving Johnson to outside linebacker would be extremely beneficial to both him and to the team. If not, there is a very strong chance Johnson becomes a bust. 1 1 2 6 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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