Lane Johnson   OT   Oklahoma

TALENT BOARD ROUND  1

 

STRENGTHS

Let's just start with this:  Lane is one of the best pure left tackles in this draft.  He has the most athletic talent at this position and plays the position effortlessly.  He has excellent size, strength and quickness to play left tackle and his ability to learn and bring what he learns into the game as quickly as he has, is very unique.  He has strong hands and is very smart.  He can play more than one position on the offensive line for the team that drafts him.  Lane has excellent lateral agility to mirror his man (if he has to) and the quick feet to recover if he gets beat.  Lane does a very good job blocking for the run as well as the pass. He stays with his block through the whistle and shows excellent leadership skills through his play on the field.  Lane is very proud and has that little bit of nasty streak that makes him mentally tough.  He has excellent physical stamina and can play in any style of offensive line blocking scheme. Lane's athleticism makes it easy for him to go to the second level and make his blocks.  He can be used in a pulling system and has no problems getting out in front of sweeps and screens to make blocks down the field.  This kid is hiding in plain sight and I'm not sure why no one seems to notice him, but you can bet after the Senior Bowl they will be talking about him big time.

 

CONCERNS

Lane is learning the left tackle position very fast, but still has some room for growth which I believe he will do with more repetitions.  He struggles in his timing on combo blocks.  He doesn't come off them quickly enough and sometimes is not sure of who he is supposed to block.  He struggles on blitz and stunts to his side, picking up and leaving his opponent quickly enough but once again, repetitions and working at one position will address this.  All of these issues are timing and repetition issues; I have no doubt about Lane's ability to correct them and get better.  Lane has legitimate Pro Bowl left tackle talent -- all you have to do is let him play.  

 

BOTTOM LINE

The only reason I can figure out why no one is talking about Lane is that scouts are trying to stash him for their teams.  Some are trying to downgrade him because he has played other positions and has not played left tackle that long.  Some are suggesting his techniques are raw and he still needs a lot of work.  I'm going to tell you hogwash to all of that.  You don't pass on an athlete this size, with this much natural athleticism, work ethic and football intelligence because he hasn't played one position long enough.  Not when those same people tell me they are ready to select players who have played a position for a long time and are not as talented and don't play their position as well as Lane does right now.  It's just BS -- and the BS detector is on the job.  Lane is one of the best left tackles in this draft; that is what I see on film, which cannot be disputed.  I call him (Plain) Lane Johnson because he is hiding in plain sight and like anything that is hiding in plain sight, once it's discovered it usually becomes a treasure.

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Jan/2013