Personal: Born 12/16/83, in Grant, Nebraska. He is one of two children. Parents are David and Laurie Johnson. Started both ways at Loveland High School in Loveland, Colo. Helped lead his team to a combined 23-4 record during his junior and senior seasons. As a senior, he was credited with 27 solo tackles and 28 assists for a total of 55 tackles, including 9.5 sacks from his defensive line position. He played for head coach John Poovey at Loveland High. Johnson was also recruited by Colorado and Colorado State.
College: Four-year starter who started 47 consecutive games at left tackle for the Cowboys. Redshirted in 2002. Weighed in at 293 pounds when he started all 12 games as a redshirt freshman at left tackle in 2003. Majored in agricultural business
His numbers at the combine included a 1.91 10-yard dash, a 3.09 20-yard dash, a 5.41 40-yard dash, a 28-inch vertical jump, 8’-4” broad jump, a 4.70 short shuttle and 8.15 3-cone drill time. He was only able to do 14 reps at 225 pounds.
Pro: Signed by the Vikings as an undrafted free agent following the 2007 NFL Draft.
Positives: Rare size. A big, tall, long-limbed player who has four years of college starting experience at left tackle. Huge frame. Despite his size, he shows good initial quickness as a pass blocker and uses his hands and long (35-plus-inch) arms effectively. Smart player with good awareness. Works hard and stays focused. Patient pass protector who utilizes his size and can be a long road getting around him. Uses blocking angles effectively. Has a wide base, jolts defenders at times and seals well. Flashes power and the ability to control defenders. Has proven to be very durable. Performed well in post-season All-Star competition.
Negatives: Was consistent but not at all dominant in college. Gets too high at times and struggles with speed and quickness pass rushers. Needs to be more consistent with his overall technique and continually be careful to keep his butt down and bend his knees. Scouts question his toughness, intensity and killer instinct at times. Needs work in the weightroom, especially in the upper body. Despite his size, he does not play that strong and lacks true power.
Summary: Johnson is a big, surprisingly athletic tackle who didn't dominate but was fairly steady. He came on a bit as a senior and is at the very least a decent developmental-type prospect with enough tools to play in the NFL.
What they said:
“A four-year starter at left tackle. Will more than likely project to the right side at the next level. A solid, no frills prospect who even though he may never be a star could develop into a better than average starter. Has the potential to be a steal.” – Scott Wright, NFL Draft Countdown
“When I look at Johnson I see the potential of a young Joe Jacoby who was part of the Redskins’ famed ‘Hogs’ for more than a decade. Because of his incredible size and other attributes. Johnson has a chance to develop into a nice player down the road…The concern is that he’ll be overmatched from a quickness standpoint in the NFL.” – Mel Kiper Jr.
“Feet are too heavy to play on the left side in the pros and his hips might be too high to earn on job on either side. Will always struggle to match up against quickness.” – Nolan Nawrocki, Pro Football Weekly.