NFL Draft Pick No. 8: Atlanta Falcons – Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State
Travon Walker isn’t the only EDGE to shoot up draft boards after the season ending, with Jermaine Johnson being another standout who’s red hot with his draft stock leading into this draft. With the need for edge rushers, Johnson is right in top 10 consideration.
Atlanta finished dead last in the NFL for sacks last season and desperately needs to fix that. The NFC South will be ripe for the taking when Tom Brady retires from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (for real this time), but Atlanta won’t have a chance without a good defense.
Johnson transferred from Georgia to Florida State, and it may be the best thing that ever happened to him. Instead of being lost in the shuffle on a stacked Bulldogs defensive line, he shone with Florida State and made a true name for himself instead. He recorded 11.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss this season.
Johnson is a good size for the NFL at 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds and doesn’t offer much in the way of weaknesses. His technique is very sound and he’s not a liability in the run game, in fact he makes plenty of plays defending the run as well. He’s a dogged competitor and doesn’t know the meaning of “quit.”
The only problem for Johnson is this is such a loaded EDGE class that he legitimately could have been a No. 1 or No. 2 pick at the position. He’s No. 4 here, but could he be No. 3 if teams picking in the top 10 have misgivings about Kavyon Thibodeaux?
Johnson is an exciting prospect on the rise, and I for one will be very intrigued to see where he gets picked in the NFL Draft.