The Philadelphia Eagles are using one of their top 30 pre-draft visits on Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr., according to a report from Jared Tokarz.
Johnson, 21, is rated as one of the very best offensive line prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. He is the No. 14 overall prospect on Daniel Jeremiah’s Top 50 list. ESPN’s latest mock draft from Todd McShay has Johnson going one spot behind the Philadelphia Eagles’ selection at No. 10 to the Tennessee Titans at No. 11.
Johnson played at right guard in 2021 before moving over to left tackle and having success there in 2022. He is tall (6’6⅜”) and long (36⅛” arms). So long, in fact, that he joined exclusive company at the NFL Combine (as highlighted by Pro Football Focus):
Since 2000, only 19 tackles have measured in with arms over 36 inches in the pre-draft process. Johnson is officially one of them. Those are tree branches, and they’re made all the more impressive by how well he uses them.
With Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson in place, the Eagles don’t have an immediate need for a starting tackle. But Johnson turns 33 in May and he said he wants to play “maybe two more years” after the 2022 season. And the Birds will likely lose current backup left tackle Andre Dillard in free agency.
They could also very well lose starting right guard Isaac Seumalo. Cam Jurgens could potentially take over his spot if Jason Kelce returns, which isn’t yet certain. If Kelce retires AND Seumalo leaves, Jurgens could play at center with a new hole opened at right guard. Johnson could take over that spot. You don’t really want to take a guard at No. 10 overall but there would be a plan for him to eventually move to tackle. And he might be more of an option with a trade down to the mid-teens or so.
A lot of hypotheticals to consider but one thing is certain: one cannot put it past Howie Roseman to invest significant resources in the trenches. Johnson is a legitimate candidate to be selected by the Eagles.
Scouting report via NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:
Long, athletic tackle in need of additional technique work but possessing the traits to become a long-time starter on the left side. Johnson is still filling out his frame and he should get stronger. He’s much better as a move blocker than man blocker but he can bridge that gap with more coaching. He’s loose and quick in pass protection but will need to add core strength and get better with inside hands to prevent edge defenders from bypassing his anchor. Johnson’s athletic tools and position versatility are advantageous but the going could be a little bumpy early on before he settles in.
Spider graph via Mockdraftable: