Jermaine Johnson II Scouting Report: 2022 NFL Draft Prospect Report
Jermaine Johnson II Florida St. EDGE
6’5” / 262 lbs.
40 time: 4.70 (Estimate)
Jermaine Johnson II Player Profile
Jermaine Johnson was a former three-star recruit coming out of Eden Prairie High School in Minnesota. According to MaxPreps, Johnson was a two-year varsity letterman for Eden Prairie High School. Although he was a very good player in high school, it is hard to tell that from his stats. As a junior in High School, he only played 1 game but had 11 total tackles and 2 sacks. If he was able to play more games throughout his career, he could have been a 4-5 star recruit.
Although Johnson wasn’t heavily scouted when he was in high school, he was able to attract attention from five power-5 teams. These teams included: Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Minnesota and Louisville. Although these schools were interested in him, not a single one offered him a scholarship. After receiving no scholarships, he decided to take his talent to Independence Community College in Kansas.
Johnson played two seasons for the Pirates and was incredible to say the least. According to IndyPirates.com, he played a total of 20 games and recorded a total of 96 tackles and 12.5 sacks. During his first season for the Pirates, he played 11 games, recorded 58 total tackles (27 solo), 8 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 3 fumble recoveries. His second season was not as good as his first, but was still very good nonetheless. He played a total of 9 games, recorded 38 total tackles (12 solo), 4.5 sacks and 1forced fumble that was recovered by him as well.
His career for the Pirates earned him a 4-star recruit status and the number one JUCO transfer recruit ranking according to 247sports. After receiving 22 offers he decided to commit to Georgia.
Johnson started his career at Georgia in 2019. During this season, Johnson was more of a rotational piece for the Bulldogs’ defense, but he made the most of it. Throughout the 2019 season, Johnson racked up a total of 14 tackles and a forced fumble.
Johnson was a lot more effective during the 2020 season and the stats show it. In only 7 games, he racked up a total of 16 total tackles with 5 sacks for a total of 24 yards lost. After an effective season like this, Johnson decided that he wanted to make one more pitstop while on his way to the NFL Draft. So, Johnson decided to enter the transfer portal and take his talent to Florida St.
During the 2021 season, Johnson has had his most efficient year by far. In a total of 12 games, he has a total of 70 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 12 sacks and 2 pass defenses. Not only are these stats good enough to get you in the NFL, it is also enough for him to be named as a First-Team All-American.
Jermaine Johnson II Strengths
Johnson has had a very successful career in college and most of that success can be attributed to his athleticism. In the game against Miami this season, I couldn’t help but realize how unique of a player he is. He does a fantastic job of using a blend of speed and power to get to the quarterback. I want to highlight this game in particular because of who he was lined up against. For a pretty good amount of snaps, he was lined up opposite of Zion Nelson, who is a top tackle in the 2022 NFL Draft Class. Although neither Johnson or Nelson won that matchup necessarily, it was a fun matchup to watch.
In one particular play in the FSU vs Miami game, Johnson was lined up on the left side of the line and stripped the ball loose from Van Dyke. In this play, he pushed the right tackle off balance and then used his speed to get to Van Dyke almost untouched.
Out of all of the EDGE defenders available in the 2022 NFL Draft, Johnson is one of the most physical. As I noted earlier, he uses a fantastic blend of speed and power to get past the offensive line. This is ideal for modern day NFL, because with quarterbacks getting more comfortable outside the pocket, you have to be able to catch them. However, in order catch a quarterback or running back, you have to get past the offensive line. There are many ways to do this, but Johnson prefers to bull rush the tackles and use his strength to his advantage. I love seeing this from NFL prospects, because it is not something they have to learn at the next level.
Throughout his career in the NCAA, I have been very impressed with Johnson’s game. A big reason why is because of his high motor. When watching his film at Georgia and Florida St. I rarely saw him give up on a play. Regardless of where the ball was on the field, he would always make his way towards the ball. In my opinion, this is very important to have when making the transition to the NFL. Often in the NFL a play looks over, but may continue on. Having a player on your roster that is willing to play until the whistle blows is very important to your team’s success.
Jermaine Johnson II Weaknesses
Struggles against bigger Offensive Linemen
Although Johnson is a very physical and powerful player, he struggles against bigger offensive linemen. Throughout this season, I kept realizing that Johnson was easily neutralized when facing linemen that are significantly larger than him. This is a big red flag because in order to be a top EDGE in the NFL, the size of the opposing offensive lineman can’t matter. A perfect example of a player who this doesn’t affect is Chase Young. We saw it from him at Ohio St. and we continue to see from him in the NFL. He has the ability to make any offensive lineman look small. This is a big reason why he was a top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Although I don’t think Johnson can be as good as Young right out of the gate, I do think that he can eventually catch up.
As I noted earlier, Johnson relies heavily on his power and physicality to get past the offensive line. This should not always be the case especially when you struggle against bigger offensive linemen. In order to succeed in the NFL, you need to be versatile on the defensive line. If you are versatile, it keeps the offensive linemen on their toes because they don’t know what you are going to attempt to do. Although Johnson is showing glimpses of finesse from time to time, he needs to improve his craft before becoming a starter.
Jermaine Johnson II Draft Stock
Johnson has flown up draft boards all season long. After being classified as an All-American, he has risen even more. It is hard to predict where Johnson will go in the draft, because this is a very EDGE heavy draft class. With that being said, I would definitely take him in the second round because of the potential that he possesses.
Johnson has proven throughout the entire season that he was a top defender in the nation. This was eventually recognized and he was honored as an All-American. Although he was an All-American, I still think he has some developing to do before he is a polished prospect.
Jermaine Johnson II NFL Player Comparison
When coming up with a comparison, I wanted to find a player that is a very physical player like Johnson. One of the first people that came to mind, that I think is a perfect comparison, is Whitney Mercilus when he was on Houston.