by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Oregon, Center, Jackson Powers-Johnson
Name- Jackson Powers-Johnson
HT/WT- 6’3” 320 lbs.
Home – Draper, UT
Jackson Powers-Johnson was a decorated high school football player at Corner Canyon High School in Utah. He played on both sides of the ball, at center and on the defensive line. On the defensive side, he finished his career with 124 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and 2 interceptions. Despite his prowess on defense, Powers-Johnson was a top-5 center nationally by 247Sports and a consensus 4-star recruit. In 2021, he was selected to play in the Under Armour All-American Game and the 2021 Polynesian Bowl. He also lettered 3 years at baseball and wrestling, showing off his athletic versatility. Powers-Johnson selected Oregon over BYU, Liberty, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah, Utah State, and Washington State.
As a freshman, Powers-Johnson played in 11 games, spending the season on the offensive line before transitioning to the defensive line for the Valero Alamo Bowl. He played 207 total snaps, including 126 on offense, 50 on special teams and 31 on defense. He showed his versatility on the offensive line, playing 80 snaps at right guard, 26 at left guard and 20 at center.
Last season, Powers-Johnson played in 12 of Oregon’s 13 games and played 400 offensive snaps. He once again showed off his positional versatility, playing 350 snaps at right guard, 44 at center, 5 at right tackle and 1 at left guard. He was graded very well by Pro Football Focus with an 84.1 overall grade.
This season, Jackson Powers-Johnson has started all 10 games and has played well enough to be considered a third round pick. He started 13 games for the Ducks and was one of the highest rated centers by PFF.
Powers-Johnson explodes off of snaps with a consistent pad level and consistently wins at the point of contact. His versatility and football IQ will go a long way for an NFL team. He can excel at center or guard and understands blitzes, stunts and combo blocks. He has the experience and versatility to step right in from day one and be a positive for an offensive line. He’s an excellent run blocker in the NFL and is able to anchor down against powerful bull rushers and has effective footwork to slide to help teammates. He uses his hands well in combat and is able to control defenders once he gets into their chest.
On the downside, Powers-Johnson needs to improve his play in the second level and pulling. He works better in tight quarters than he does in space. His pass blocking will need to be refined in the NFL, as Oregon uses a lot of quick passes and the linemen do not have to conventionally set up like they should at the next level. He is a much better run blocker than pass blocking but has the skill set to improve the latter. He will need to improve his footwork and his kick slide when setting up for pass blocking.
Powers-Johnson has a lot of similarities to 2020 4th round pick Tyler Biadasz out of Wisconsin. Both grade out as top of the line run blockers who needed help in their pass rushing mechanics. Biadasz played some guard early in his collegiate career like Powers-Johnson and played for a team that did not pass the ball often.
Powers-Johnson has the makeup to be a long term center in some teams' offense. Even if a team doesn't plug him in at center right away, he has the ability to bring depth to an offensive line and can start at either guard position.
Draft 412 Draft Projection - Round 3 to Round 4