2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report


Jermaine Johnson II Scouting Report

February 26, 2022 1:00 AM EST


Jermaine Johnson Scouting Report picture

School: Florida State

Height: 6'4"

Weight: 262

Eligibility: SR

Uniform: #85

Position: EDGE


Evaluated by: Kagen Irwin
KagenIrwin@gmail.com
Twitter: KirwinNation10
February 28, 2022

Prospect Overview


2018 (INCC): 9 G, 12 solo, 26 ast, 38 total, 5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 1 FF, 1 FR
2019 (UGA): 9 G, 9 solo, 11 ast, 20 total, 2.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 FF
2020 (UGA): 7 G, 11 solo, 5 ast, 16 total, 5 TFL, 5 sacks
2021 (FSU): 12 G, 33 solo, 37 ast, 70 total, 17.5 TFL, 11.5 sack, 2 FF, 1 FR, 1 TD

Jermaine Johnson was an intriguing player in high school earning All-Metro honors at Eden Prairie HS in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Despite having some offers from Division I programs, Jermaine's grades would have forced him to redshirt a year without playing. Instead he elected to go the JUCO route where he would get to play full time. This is where he met the controversial character Coach Jason Brown at Independence Community College, the center of the popular Netflix series 'Last Chance U'. In 20 games at Independence he registered 96 tackles, including 19.0 for loss with 12.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.


Jermaine Johnson Scouting Report image 1

Coming into the transfer portal, he was rated as the consensus top-3 JUCO prospect in the nation. Leaving Independence, Kansas he chose Athens, Georgia as his new home. Playing behind Azeez Ojulari in 2019 he recorded 20 tackles, 3.0 for loss with 2.5 sacks, 13 quarterback pressures, one forced fumble and one pass breakup.

In his RS Junior Covid season he made 16 tackles, including 5.0 sacks, 11 quarterback pressures and one pass breakup in just seven games. He ranked 3rd on the team in sacks. After Ojulari declared for the draft it seemed Johnson was primed for a more prominent role in the Georgia defense, however he elected to jump into the transfer portal. This led him to Mike Norvell at Florida St.

In his final year of eligibility Johnson really shined. In an incredible season Jermaine led the ACC in tackles for loss (17.5) and sacks (11.5), putting him on the radar for NFL scouts. He earned First Team All-ACC, as well as the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Also becoming a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award, as well as a semi-finalist for the Bednarik and Lombardi Awards.

Positives

After a few years of bouncing around schools, Johnson found his footing in his final year at Florida St. It's clear in his tape to see his progression. Adding pass rush moves and developing his hands to be more violent. The more chances he had, the better he got. Despite his rawness in technique, Jermaine shows great play recognition and awareness of things going on around him. When the play goes away from him, he quickly follows and slow plays the cutback lane. You can actually see him recognize plays and his discipline to immediately step in. He does a really good job of finding the ball in the backfield and takes good angles to cut runners off.

Jermaine Johnson Scouting Report image 2

In passing situations he shows some solid burst off of the line, and has incredible power in his upper body. When he decides to run through tackles, they typically aren't able to hold up. While whipping some no name tackles, he went to the senior bowl and did the same exact thing there. It's safe to assume he might not be able to do this to everyone at the next level, but I think it's also fair to say there are a couple tackles who would have a hard time dealing with his power alone.

When tackles are over aggressive, he's got a pretty nice push and pull move to free himself up as a tackler. He's got a sweet long arm move and has the frame and power to see success with it at the next level. When the play comes to his inside shoulder, he does a good job of using his length and getting his arm out to stop them in their tracks. He really can just catch runners and prevent them getting extra yards, even while dealing with a blocker. On counters and stunts, he can absolutely blow up guards and that's really the crux of his game. Blowing up plays and being a nuisance. Yes his technique is raw but he's always learning and trying to implement new moves. He showed much better swipe moves and hand timing at the Senior Bowl, so it isn't crazy to assume that he has more to his ceiling.

He made both Max Mitchell and Darian Kinnard look overmatched all (Senior Bowl) week and both of those guys will likely be drafted. There are moments in his tape when you can see him load up and decide to wreak havoc. And one of the more important and impressive things is his conditioning. He's on the field all the time, with juice in all 4 quarters. He can be on the field all three downs and lasts surprisingly well throughout tough drives.

I have heard people say he gets pushed around, but in the tape I've reviewed I just haven't seen it. He doesn't play backwards and his pure power keeps him from really being moved. Against the run he hits with authority and pursues the ball with purpose. There's a lot of effort in his game. His motor is very high level and his conditioning can keep up with him. He moved up from the JUCO ranks through very hard work and commitment. His progression is admirable, and he seems like he has high likelihood of fulfilling his potential.

Areas for Improvement

It's clear in his tape that Jermaine's very raw in his development. He often resorts to trying to strong arm tackles and running straight through is not a recipe for success at the next level. He doesn't have very refined moves in his arsenal even though he does try to incorporate new skills. Typically it's the timing that's off. Either he's too early or too late, not doing a great job of sweeping away the hands. Even his jump is a bit late. His pursuit and power is what got him most of his sacks, he didn't win often off of pure technique. He has a habit of running straight into blockers instead of redirecting. Even when running backs try to chip him on the edge he just shoulders into them. He'll literally block himself sometimes. And despite his long arms, he doesn't disengage the way you'd like to see.

Blockers will get hands on his frame, and he doesn't have much violence in his hands or urgency to get them off. Even tight ends get into his chest and he struggles to get off of them. Given his size he shouldn't be locked up the way he is. That will have to change at the next level. When he tries to set the edge, he can get depth but backs get run around him because he simply cannot free himself to make the tackle. In the pass rush his hip bend is pretty average at the moment, when he tries to get horizontal around the corner he can't seem to get low enough. This could be developed over time but as it stands now he doesn't have the flexibility to turn the corner on tackles at the next level. When he is left unblocked he sometimes hesitates instead of jumping into pursuit. While its good to see his play recognition, you'd like to see him just be more aggressive and get deeper into the backfield.


Jermaine Johnson Scouting Report image 3

Draft Stock

Johnson's draft stock has started to soar after his impressive senior season, and not without merit. He led the ACC in sacks (11.5) and tackles for loss (17.5) and was a constant disruptor on tape. Still a relatively quite commodity, Johnson turned a lot of heads at the Senior Bowl after whooping on some of the nation's best prospects. Jermaine's game has a lot to really love too, he's long and fast and incredibly powerful.

He's definitely still raw in his technique but it's fair to wager that his Football IQ will keep him productive on the field while he irons out his game. He may not be as successful at running through tackles in the NFL but he can still be a disruptor with his strength and constantly running motor. And that motor runs hot all 4 quarters. Jermaine might not have the floor as some of the other high end edge rushers in the class, but his ceiling can rival theirs. With a premium placed on edge defenders by NFL teams, Johnson could find his way into the middle of round 1.

Games Evaluated

  • Notre Dame (9-5-21)
  • Jacksonville St. (9-11-21)
  • Syracuse (10-2-21)
  • North Carolina (10-9-21)
  • Miami (11-13-21)
  • Florida (11-27-21)


Scouting Video Courtesy of Nole Productions




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