The Cleveland Browns have begun signing their draft picks, inking fifth-round offensive lineman Roderick Johnson to a contract.
The Cleveland Browns have signed offensive lineman Roderick Johnson, a fifth-round pick by the team in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Johnson, who is 6-foot-7 and 298 pounds, is at his best in the run game as his long arms and excellent punch help him move defenders off the line of scrimmage. That makes him a natural fit at the tackle position in head coach Hue Jackson’s offensive system. He also comes from a college program in Florida State that runs a pro-style offense.
When it comes to pass blocking, however, it is an entirely different story for Johnson, as our own Joel Cade pointed out in a breakdown of Johnson’s game:
"Johnson will need to learn the fundamentals of pass blocking from the ground up. His upper body plays out of sync with his lower body. He leans into his pass blocks which allows defenders to use his body weight against him. He fails to set his feet properly which opens him up to power moves like bull rushes. His footwork fundamentals are bad causing him to get off-balance when he is not leaning."
"He has not developed as a pass blocker because he has not had to. With his long arms, he has been able to latch on to defenders and lean on them. But the NFL is a whole new world where grab and lean is not effective."
At this point Johnson is a major project. The raw physical talent is there, especially in the run game, but the production has not always matched up with that talent.
The good news is that barring a catastrophe the Browns should have absolutely no reason to put Johnson on the field in 2017. Joe Thomas is entrenched at left tackle, and the right tackle slot will be adequately manned by Shon Coleman and Cameron Erving, a former teammate of Johnson’s with the Seminoles.
If Johnson can improve his pass blocking and work himself into a more well-rounded player, he could be in the running to fill a very important hole on the offensive line in a couple of years.