One of the most terrifying monsters in the NFL Draft class, the media ascension of Jermaine Johnson hasn’t been a fluke. Johnson originally started at Georgia before transferring out to Florida State and ascending media draft boards over the process. The main thing I’ve heard this week? Jermaine Johnson was always toward the top of the draft board.

In our write ups on Johnson, we’ve always talked about his power, his speed to power transition, and just how well he helps a three man front with his versatility. He’s a fun prospect with a lot of potential oozing from his veins. I spoke with him off to the side, one-on-one, before an appearance with CBS Sports.

Football Sapient: You had a really big Senior Bowl. Obviously, I think it really helped elevate your stock a little bit. What was some of the feedback that you got back from teams about your game and some of the things that you do really well?

Jermaine Johnson: Really how balanced I am as a player. Usually pass rushers kinda are deficient when playing the run and I am not. I think that’s my strongest thing is playing the run. I will probably make you want to run it the other way. So, that’s kinda what teams hit on and they also, don’t get me wrong, they admire my pass rushing ability. But, the fact that I can play the run as well as I can play the pass, it makes me a very, very dangerous player to play against and a very, very teammate to have.

Football Sapient: Playing in the ACC, you know, at Florida State, after leaving Georgia. What was the main difference between the two conferences that you witnessed?

Jermaine Johnson: I guess the level of talent consistently. In the SEC, you know, all the way down to the third-strings, you’ve got five stars and four stars, right? I guess at the ACC level, give or take, you know there’s sort of a drop off in competition after the starters.

Football Sapient: What do you feel is your biggest strength? You said run defending, but from a mechanical standpoint, what is that biggest strength?

Jermaine Johnson: My power and my speed. The fact that I can do them both, it’s terrifying as an offensive lineman and I knew that this guy could run around me, spin inside of me, and run down my chest and make me end up on my back and I probably won’t want to play against that guy.

Football Sapient: What are you working on to try to get a little bit better?

Jermaine Johnson: I guess what I could get better as is just being more consistent, having a plan all the time in the pass rush. Be more consistent with my get-off, keeping my pad level low throughout the game. All of that is getting fixed as we speak, so I’m just excited to take this new car, so to say, out of the lot and this upcoming season.

Post Interview notes and impression

Jermaine Johnson has a very strong personality. While he can come across as cocky and over-confident to some, that was not the impression that I got while talking to him. I felt that Johnson was very aware of his weaknesses but aware of his strengths and the evaluation that he gave of himself wasn’t wrong.

I love Johnson in this process and it’s hard to imagine a world where he comes out of the top ten unpicked. He’s a very popular prospect here in Indianapolis and will be highly valued on draft night.

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By John Vogel

NFL Draft Analyst. Dad.

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