Oklahoma Sooners offensive tackle Lane Johnson made himself some money this past weekend at the NFL Scouting Combine. He definitely turned the heads of many scouts in attendance, and I’m sure the tackle-starved San Diego Chargers were taking watch.
The former quarterback turned tight end turned offensive tackle measured in a 6-6, 303 pounds with 35 ¼ inch arms. Johnson showed off his athleticism when he ran an unheard-of 4.72 seconds in the 40-yard dash for a man his size. He also posted an impressive 28 reps on the bench press and showed great explosiveness with a 34-inch vertical and 118-inch broad jump.
He proved he was much more than a workout warrior when he was flawless in his positional drills. Coupled with his solid Senior Bowl, Johnson will be a highly coveted player in April’s Draft and has solidified his place in the top 15. Johnson would no longer be considered a reach if taken by the Chargers with the 11th overall pick and could be taken as high as seventh overall by the Arizona Cardinals.
Fellow offensive tackles Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are still likely ahead of Johnson on most draft boards, but Johnson could have more upside than both of them.
Joeckel is projected by many to go first overall to the Kansas City Chiefs and Fisher will likely go to the Philadelphia Eagles or Cardinals. The majority of mock drafts have Johnson going to San Diego.
Johnson would be a great fit for San Diego’s new zone blocking scheme. He was the fastest lineman out of his stance in the 40, clocking an unofficial 1.61 10-yard split. That quickness will help him be fast off the snap and get to the second level quickly to block.
The former quarterback knows what it’s like to get blindsided by a defender. Hopefully, that motivates him to protect Philip Rivers if Johnson does indeed get drafted by the Chargers.