Two-Deep Analysis: OL Kaleb Johnson

With spring camp over, ScarletReport.com is ready to look ahead to training camp with an in-depth, daily look at the depth chart. Going player by player, we break down the key players of training camp with an in-depth look today at offensive lineman Kaleb Johnson.

Kaleb Johnson spent his first Rutgers spring on the sidelines after shoulder surgery. Moving into his junior season, Johnson experienced spring camp for the first time and displayed his versatility as an offensive lineman.

After making many all-freshman lists at right tackle and moving to the left side as a sophomore, Johnson will be an anchor on a line that returns four out of five starters from the 2012 season.

Spring Performance -- Johnson and the Rutgers line struggled in its early roles but surged in the final week after multiple position changes. For Johnson, the move from left tackle to left guard greatly improved the overall run game for the Scarlet Knights.

Using a new-look, experimental line in the final week of camp, Johnson excelled at left guard, where he was initially recruited to play out of Edward H. White High (Jacksonville, Fla.). Most importantly, Johnson stayed healthy and appeared to have no issues picking up Ron Prince's offense.

Expected 2013 Role -- Johnson's position in 2013 is undetermined, but he is a lock to be one of the "best five" on the offensive line. The best fit is at guard for Johnson, but staying there requires two tackles to emerge as reliable starters in his stead. Johnson has one year at right tackle and one at left tackle under his belt and anything but center is still a possibility in 2013.

Scouting Report -- There are two different scouting reports for Johnson, one for the tackle and one for the guard. In his two seasons as a tackle at Rutgers, Johnson played at a high level but struggled at times at left tackle. Penalties became an issue against the more athletic defensive ends that used speed to get the best of Johnson. Johnson displayed the strength to compete off the edge but his first step in pass protection needs improvement as one of the most penalized Scarlet Knights in 2012.

Guard is the more natural position for Johnson, who can better use his athleticism to meet the defender at the snap and get to the second level in run-blocking. The motion involved with guard will take adjustments after time at tackle. Moving Johnson and Chris Muller to the guard spots in the final week of camp let to positive signs in the run game and now regression in pass protection.

The Bottom Line -- Johnson will play whatever position allows Rutgers to put its best five linemen on the field and he will do it at a high level.


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