Player: Patrick Johnson
Height: 6’ 3’’
Weight: 255 lbs.
College Major: Health & Wellness
Projected Selection: 4th Round, New York Giants
Collegiate Career: Patrick Johnson was Tulane’s all-time sack leader recording 24.5 sacks over his time in Uptown New Orleans. While Johnson was only a two-star recruit out of Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, TN, he is a prime example of someone who over-achieved in Willie Fritz’s system.
Johnson was a two-time first team All AAC selection (2018 and 2020) and a one time second team All AAC selection (2019). Johnson first garnered national attention in 2018 recording 10.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and fifty tackles. While Johnson’s stats fell off a little in his junior year, he made up for it in his senior year recording 10 sacks, two forced fumbles, and 39 tackles.
While Johnson’s junior year was his least productive as a starter due to injuries, he still started in all 13 games for the Green Wave recording 35 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks, and four pass breakups. Johnson’s ability to continually produce each game while battling injury can be attributed to his incredible mental toughness and warrior like attitude on the football field.
Physical Breakdown: Johnson is one of the quickest pass rushers in this draft. When watching tape on this athletic defensive end what really stands out is his ability to consistently beat any offensive lineman he is going against with his speed and athleticism. While Johnson will lose about 75 pounds to any offensive lineman that he will line up against at the pro level, he more than makes up for it with his agility and technique.
Potential in NFL: The sky is truly the limit for Patrick Johnson. While he may not have gotten the exposure that defensive ends with similar profiles got at Power Five schools, he is just as capable as those players. Think Michael Strahan coming out of Texas Southern. Like Johnson, Strahan was an athletic and agile edge pass rusher, that did not command attention that was commensurate to his talent at the collegiate level. Johnson also looked unusually comfortable dropping back into pass protection while at Tulane. Don’t be surprised if he is positioned at linebacker in a 3-4 scheme on Sundays.