Day 2 prospect: Zion Johnson, Offensive Tackle/Guard, Boston College
Starting as a 0-star prospect committing to Davidson, Zion Johnson found immediate playing time starting at left guard as a freshman. He was named First Team All-Conference following his sophomore performance and elected to transfer to Boston College. Playing in all 13 games his junior year, starting seven, even the games he wasn’t a starter, he saw significant playing time. In 2020, Johnson made a move outside after spending his first three collegiate years at left guard.
At the NFL level, Johnson will likely make a move back to guard. Most of his college production has been in a gap/man blocking scheme, but he has the lateral agility to work well in a zone offense. As a junior, Boston College consistently used him consistently pulling to the outside on run and screen plays. He does a great job of remaining low coming out of his stance and keep leverage over his opponent at the point of attack.
Another area that he excels in that the Chiefs desperately need along the interior offensive line is his vertical push. Johnson would provide the offense with some stout blocking in the middle between his ability to maintain leverage, competitive toughness, and explosive hip roll.
In pass protection, Johnson shows heavy hands with a vicious initial punch to knock rushers off balance. Along with his initial punch, he displays the length and power to control and steer his opponent to keep his frame clean. He brings the nasty to the position as he always looks to finish his opponent. Maybe the best part of his game is his anchor in pass blocking. Having a wide base with a good bend in the knees and ankles compliments his upper body strength to stop the big men in the middle.
Johnson could play in either gap or zone schemes in the NFL at the guard position. His mobility, explosiveness, and anchoring ability would make him a great fit on the Chiefs line. Climbing to the second level in space and maintaining balance, and processing his assignment could both use some improvement. Processing stunts and late blitzes were also areas where he showed signs of struggle during his junior year, but as he earned more snaps, he looked to improve.