Austin Johnson, DT
School: Penn State | Conference: BIG-10
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 6-4 / 323 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd Round
NFL Comparison: Sen'Derrick Marks
This past season Austin Johnson solidified his presence as one of the best defensive tackles in all of college football. Johnson for the most part of the season was an immovable force, a disrupter ruining the Saturdays of opposing QBs and RBs. He's a good run defender. Johnson has a bit of pass rushing presence as well he recorded 6.5 sacks as a 4-3 DT. Johnson carries his 323 lbs body well and has great burst off the snap. Johnson is scheme versatile he could play in a 4-3 or 3-4 and if put in the right situation could continue to develop his pass rushing skills and have a productive NFL career in that area. Johnson more than holds his own he frequently commands double teams allowing his teammates to do their thing. He's a wolf and hunts for the ball he had 78 tackles this past season, that's absolutely stunning for an interior lineman.
- Strong at the point of attack. He's quick out of his stance splitting the A gap.
- Has good instincts when diagnosing which gap to plug. Simply a space eater and a solid tackler.
- Smart player, he knows when to crash and create a roadblock allowing teammates to make a play.
- Frequently commands a double team.
- Good motor, he doesn't quit battles.
- Sloppy hands and not always active with them. Won matchups in college with strength and athleticism alone.
- Needs to refine pass rush technique, he has a bull rush but hand placement again doesn't give him the best leverage. He also has a little swim move but it needs to be tightened up.
- His Ohio State game was his worst of the season. Johnson definitely had an impact but OSU's C and LG stalled him and got him turned around all day. You could tell he was getting upset with the level of physicality inflicted on him. He'll have to learn how to overcome that cause it's going to happen in the NFL.
Let's see his work:
There's no way that Austin Johnson is 325 lbs. His hips are too fluid. #PSU— Emmanual Benton (@Manny_PPI) January 20, 2016
Austin Johnson has a little Darnell Dockett in his game. #PSU— Emmanual Benton (@Manny_PPI) January 20, 2016
I don't think Austin Johnson is a true 3-4 nose in the NFL. Much more effective as a one-gapping presence for PSU.— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) January 18, 2016
Remember someone saying Austin Johnson (DT-PSU) didn't play well against Ohio State. I'd encourage them to watch that again.— Jeff Cavanaugh (@JC1053) January 14, 2016
More pressure from the North DL, Austin Johnson from Penn State with the inside rush that time.— Steve Shoup (@Steveospeak) January 30, 2016
Nick Martin/C/Notre Dame continues to impress. Handled Austin Johnson/Penn State on consecutive snaps.— Tony Pauline (@TonyPauline) January 28, 2016
Penn State DT(/my guy) Austin Johnson impressing at Senior Bowl practices. https://t.co/f5OP4hG6QZ— Andrew Callahan (@ACallahan_LDN) January 27, 2016
More push there from Penn State DT Austin Johnson that I was expecting to see. Was a very stout run defender, but lacked push as a rusher.— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) January 27, 2016
Had a chance to talk to Penn State DT Austin Johnson. Very impressive kid. Measured 6-4 3/8, 323 - perfect 3-4 end candidate. #SeniorBowl— Dan Leberfeld (@jetswhispers) January 27, 2016
Penn State DT Austin Johnson one of the few four year juniors here at the Senior Bowl said he is comfortable playing anywhere on the DLine— Luke Inman (@Luke_Spinman) January 25, 2016
Penn State DT Austin Johnson said his favorite DT growing up was Haloti Ngata (he was a Ravens fan). Also said he liked Suh with the Lions— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) January 25, 2016
How He Would Fit on the Redskins
Johnson would be a quality second round pick for the Redskins especially if the front office doesn't decide to address DL in the first round. Johnson could play NT or DE but I think it would be best to work him into the DE rotation first while he learns Joe Barry's defense. If Johnson can improve his hands and other technique issues he might even challenge for a starting spot or at the very least be a heavy part of the DL rotation. The Redskins will have a spoil of riches this year when picking a defensive lineman to contribute at DE or NT. A young player like Johnson at just 21 years of age could develop nicely and become a staple of the defense.