The Kansas City Chiefs' offensive line could be in the market for a new starting left tackle in 2023. The future for Orlando Brown Jr. is murky at best, considering a long-term deal was not struck last offseason as many anticipated. Brown is playing under the franchise tag this season, and unless a deal is agreed upon, he will either hit free agency after the season or is a potential tag-and-trade candidate.
Ohio State has been among the elite of collegiate football for decades and arguably has been enjoying its most success in recent years. The Buckeyes are routinely a large part of the draft night, and there is a laundry list of former Ohio State players who have found success as professionals.
Paris Johnson Jr. is 6 feet 6 and is listed at 310 pounds. He hails from Cincinnati, Ohio. He is a well-rounded student-athlete and has been able to balance life in the classroom and on the field. He is held in high regard when it comes to work ethic, leadership and intelligence.
He possesses a rare level of mobility for an offensive tackle, which will be a big asset for him to take to the next level. He excels as a run blocker and pass protector while there is still room for growth in both. Johnson's length and strength combination aids him in space and dealing with pass rushers, but he doesn't consistently win at the point-of-attack on run plays quite yet. He is an early favorite to land in the first round and should be in the running as the first lineman off the board.
Let's go to the film:
The film review
Here we have Johnson in a pass set showing how he can protect the outside with a nice initial kick-step. He knocks the defender's hands down once contact is initiated and gets into the chest to halt his upfield progression. He gets help from the left guard after that as the Notre Dame edge rusher tries to spin back inside to no avail.
Here we get to see some of the athleticism that has NFL scouts excited about his potential. Johnson mirrors the No. 9 to the inside and has the balance and body control to withstand the counter back outside. The defender attempts to collapse the pocket, but Johnson is able to maneuver him away from the quarterback.
This is a sort of ugly rep from Johnson, but there are some good takeaways. Johnson's hand placement isn't great here, and it allows the defender to get into No. 77's chest, forcing him backward. Johnson regains his anchor as the quarterback evades the pressure by spinning out of the pocket.
The way Johnson withstands the bull rush even after the initial push is impressive. He needs to get more consistent with hand placement, and that would help avoid plays like this. That part can be polished up.
We saw an outside rush attempt and a bull rush attempt. Now let's see what happens with a quick move to the inside. Johnson has no trouble stepping back inside to ready himself for the spin move. A running back happens to be in a spot to help, but it wasn't necessary for Johnson to win this rep.
This is another good rep for Johnson as he faces another outside rush attempt but handles it well. He gets depth and swats the hand down as he positions his hands on the shoulder pads and slows the defender's momentum.
Ohio State is a spread team who likes to throw the ball, but Johnson is fun to watch as a run-blocker when given the opportunity. We see how smooth he moves, and once he gets into the defender the relative ease Johnson moves him with is evident.
The active feet and downfield movement are vital for success as a blocker.
Near the goal line is really where you need a lineman to win the line-of-scrimmage battle. Johnson's down block is effective and then he peels off to the second level to pick up the free defender. He may need to stay on the down block for a half-count longer but that is a finetuning issue.
The bottom line
Early in the process, Johnson is one of the top tackles of the 2023 NFL Draft.
At this point, he could rise as high as a top-five pick or land somewhere toward the end of Day One. He is surely on the Chiefs' radar, but we obviously won't know for sure what the likelihood he lands in Kansas City is for a while.
He looks the part and so far has shown a wide array of skills on the gridiron. His junior season with Ohio State is looking like it will end in the College Football Playoff and from there, we will see if he returns to Columbus for one last ride as a senior.
Regardless, his future is bright and we here at Arrowhead Pride look forward to watching him for the rest of the college football season.