Dorian Johnson, OG
School: Pittsburgh | Conference: ACC
College Experience: Senior | Age: 22
Height / Weight: 6-5 / 315 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 2nd or 3rd Round
NFL Comparison: David DeCastro
Dorian Johnson was the first true freshman to start for Pittsburgh's offensive line in a decade. Johnson has played three positions on the offensive line: left tackle, left guard, and right guard. Johnson along with his teammate LT Adam Bisnowaty are considered by some to be the best left side offensive line combination in all of college football. Johnson is one of most pro-ready prospects in the whole draft and he was a significant factor in Pittsburgh's 2,926 rushing yards this year. When you watch him play you don’t see a prospect that needs a ton more development or polish.
He has all the things you want from a technique standpoint. His balance and footwork stand out. He has the strength and power to win consistently at the point of attack. He has the attitude to take blockers completely our of plays. He is also agile and athletic enough to not only seal at the first level but to get to the second level and create even more space.
Physically Johnson is one of the most well put together 315 pound football players I have ever seen. To put it simply he’s ripped. He has very little “bad” fat anywhere much less around the middle.
For anyone that follows draft season closely you’ll learn more about Johnson very soon as he has accepted his invitation to the Senior Bowl.
- Technically sound, impressive footwork, good strength, great balance, plays with awareness and attitude.
- Plays smart and with discipline, will not self-destruct with false start or holding penalties.
- Nearly equally effective in pass protection (stout) and in the run game (will maul dudes) . Nearly immovable at the point of attack. Can block straight ahead or while pulling.
- Occasionally gets caught with an inside move, improvement with his initial punch and handwork would help.
- Doesn’t always make contact once he gets to the second level, needs more coaching on how to move in space at the second level.
Let’s see his work:
Teams needing OL would be well-served drafting Pitt G Dorian Johnson. Dominant pass blocker, + movement skills & power. Long, athletic build— Joe Marino (@TheJoeMarino) December 31, 2016
Pitt OT Adam Bisnowaty, LG Dorian Johnson and QB Nathan Peterman will play in the Senior Bowl Jan. 28.— Jerry DiPaola (@JDiPaola_Trib) December 12, 2016
Not that anyone asked or anything but we beat Clemson this season.— Dorian Johnson (@DorianJ64) January 10, 2017
When I watch Pitt OG Dorian Johnson with that athleticism & long arms, I wonder if an NFL team will take a chance on him at LT.— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) December 14, 2016
Johnson is an All-ACC honoree who's been starting since his freshman campaign. With experience at guard and tackle, Johnson provides versatility. Really, though, he's simply one of the best guards in this upcoming class. Draft Analyst's Tony Pauline is a big fan of Johnson's work, writing in September that he could get first-round consideration.
How He Would Fit On The Redskins
Questions remain as to if the Redskins have a future starter at left guard already on the roster in third-year player Arie Kouandijo. What is not a question to spectators, fans, and hopefully the Redskins brass is that Shawn Lauvao can not be allowed to continue being the starting left guard of the Redskins due to performance reasons. If the Redskins are going to find their future left guard in this year’s draft Dorian Johnson is the player they should be targeting.
Johnson would almost certainly be an immediate upgrade at the position. He is well versed with his technique in both pass protection and run blocking. Johnson stands out because of the tremendous balance he plays with. His power and strength are evident and his ability to not only find a man to block but seal and finish him is something the Redskins have not had consistently at the left guard position in a long time.
Johnson’s experience playing tackle and guard is not the only reason why some consider him versatile. There may not be another OG prospect in this draft that is as effective blocking while pulling (an area where the Redskins run game has been poor) or while moving men to create holes straight ahead (also an area where the Redskins have generally been average). Johnson’s talent extends beyond physical blocking as well. Watching him you can see the great vision he plays with as he almost always chooses the optimal man to block to pave the way for his RB. His head is also on a swivel to catch rushers who may be a threat to his QB.
With all his positives Johnson is still not a finished product. While his arm extension is very effective I’d like to see him improve his punch and overall hand usage. If I had to find a criticism to harp on it would be the need for improvement in this area to combat the stronger and much faster defensive linemen he will face in the NFL in addition to consistency in finding a man to block at the second level.