With the 251st and also their final pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals have drafted T.J. Johnson, center, South Carolina. In his senior year, Johnson started in all 13 games, and set the South Carolina record for starts over a career. He was named to the Coaches All-SEC second-team.
2012: Senior leader of the offensive line and a team captain… started all 53 games over the past four seasons, a school record… a second-team All-SEC selection by the league’s coaches and by Phil Steele… is the only Gamecock in history to start in four wins over in-state rival Clemson… was on the preseason Rimington Award watch list for the second-straight season… named to the second-team on Phil Steele’s 2012 Midseason All-America and All-SEC squads… member of the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll… played in the East-West Shrine Game following the season… has a degree in sport and entertainment management… invited to the NFL Combine.
POSITIVES: Always looking to block someone and continues to fight through the whistle. Effort isn’t an issue and he gets the most out of his abilities. Quick hands off the snap and has a lot of experience pulling and getting to the second level. Versatile experience as a four-year starter in the SEC with playing time at guard and tackle.
NEGATIVES: Plays too tall at times and struggles with leverage, getting blown backward off the snap and overpowered at the point of attack. Often overextends and lowers his head, falling off blocks and ending up on the ground. Struggles to redirect and handle secondary moves by defenders. Slow feet and doesn’t look comfortable in space. He has shorter arms and needs to improve his hand placement, attracting too many penalties in college.
COMPARES TO: Dallas Reynolds, OL, Philadelphia Eagles
Stands tall, and has a big frame. Carries his weight well, with adequate development in the upper and lower body. Lots of starting experience. Smart players, makes calls at the line. Shows good awareness on blitzes and stunts. Recognizes when his teammates need help and provides it. Finishes plays. Decent at getting to the second level.
Inconsistent in his hand placement. Will grab outside the framework of a defender, resulting in holding penalties. Can be overwhelmed with initial quickness or when he is not the first to use his hands. Struggles to sink his hips. Has issues with mirroring defenders in space.
While Johnson lacks overwhelming physical tools, he’s got size, smarts, and plenty of experience to back him up. These traits could potentially earn Johnson a late-round selection.