His size allowed him to dominate in the SEC, as he captured two first-team All-SEC awards his junior and senior seasons and a first-team All-American award his senior season. He also possesses unexpected quickness for a man of his size.
Johnson has trimmed his weight to 364, and both he and coaches want to see that number even lower. Cardinals coaches were impressed with Johnson in college, but they know he has plenty of room to grow. While all 38 collegiate starts (35 at left guard, three at right guard) came at guard, Cardinals offensive line coach Russ Grimm will work Johnson at both guard and tackle.
"I'll play wherever they want me to play," says Johnson. "If they want me to play left guard or right guard or right tackle, I'll do it. I'll do whatever it takes to play."
Johnson will likely have to wait to get his turn to play; all five starters from the Cardinals' offensive line last year return in 2009. If, however, Johnson has an impressive offseason he could push for one of the starting spots.
One thing Cardinals fans can count on annually is a dismal rushing attack. From 2005-2008, Arizona has ranked no better than 29th in the league in rushing yards. They finished dead last in 2008. Cardinals coaches hope the addition of Johnson and others will increase the competition and improve the O-line.
Even if Johnson does not start he will certainly improve, playing behind several veterans and working daily with Russ Grimm. Johnson has the natural ability to be a dominant lineman in the coming years. He just has to maintain his weight. He should have no problem; he's a big boy.