With the 181st pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select ... Kyron Johnson, linebacker, Kansas.
The Eagles traded pick No. 188 and No. 237 to the Detroit Lions in order to move up to this spot, right ahead of the New York Football Giants. (And, sadly, right after the Buffalo Bills took Punt God Matt Araiza at No. 180.)
Johnson, who will be 24 in his rookie season, is an athletic defender who mostly played off-ball linebacker at Kansas before lining up as an edge rusher in 2021. He likely projects as a SAM linebacker in Philly’s defense, giving the Birds more depth behind Haason Reddick.
Johnson had a knack for knocking the ball out at Kansas with eight total forced fumbles, including four last year. The Eagles similarly valued that kind of disruption late in the 2021 NFL Draft when they took Patrick Johnson and Tarron Jackson.
Johnson will have to compete for a spot on the roster. Making strong contributions on special teams will help his case.
Here’s a scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:
Fifth-year senior who played two different positions and saw just nine total team wins during his journey at Kansas. Johnson’s tape as an edge defender in 2021 is better than anything he produced as an inside linebacker, but he likely lacks the traits and tools to stay on the edge in the NFL. He has shown noticeable improvement and consistency handling his business at the point of attack and he has excellent speed to range across the field. However, he lacks the instincts needed to process and play quickly between the tackles. His best shot to make a team is as a backup 4-3 Sam with above-average special teams potential.
College stats via Sports Reference:
NFL scouts might not know where Kansas’ Kyron Johnson fits best but several teams have mid-4.4 GPS play speeds on him and they know he’ll run over you—even if you’re one of the most talented OT in this year’s draft like Abe Lucas. ST coaches gonna be pounding table for @krjohn15! pic.twitter.com/9XgtEQht95— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) February 21, 2022
No spider graph available but here are some impressive testing numbers:
Yeah he did. That's some wheels from Kyron Johnson. With NFL Linebackers trending towards the smaller size, the knock on his profile really isn't much of one. https://t.co/Ay3AxrWjbl pic.twitter.com/gkUxOlaHn5— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 17, 2022
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