Mayock, Kiper, Gruden, Cosell On Lane Johnson

Here’s a roundup of what several draft analysts had to say about the Eagles’ selection of Lane Johnson with the No. 4 overall pick.

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock: “I think he makes a ton of sense. He’s the most athletic offensive tackle in the draft, and what’s Chip Kelly going to do? Chip Kelly’s going to run up-tempo, maximize the number of snaps per game. He’s got to have offensive linemen that can run and are in great shape.

“They have three players on their offensive line over 30. They already have, if healthy, the premier left tackle in the league in Jason Peters. …You start him [Johnson] at right tackle, then you take your right tackle, Todd Herremans, who’s a better guard anyway, and slide him inside. So for the Eagles, this is a two-for-one. You get better at two positions with one draft pick, and you just got younger and more athletic right across the board.”

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: “He’s a brilliant athlete. He can get stronger, I believe, in the lower body. Once he does that, he’s going to be a great player. He probably had the most upside of any of the three left tackles in this draft.”

ESPN’s Jon Gruden: “One thing I like about Lane Johnson is he’s familiar with the no-huddle offense. They didn’t huddle at Oklahoma. One thing I can assure you that you’re going to see in Philadelphia is up-tempo, no-huddle football, and when you play like that, you have to have linemen that are in great shape. Lane Johnson is just that. I also like this kid because he’s nasty. I think he’s a finisher. He’s got a tremendous upside. If you watch his Combine workout, you wouldn’t think he’s an offensive lineman.”

NFL Films’ Greg Cosell: “Because he does not have a lot of experience at left tackle, early in the season, you saw the athleticism, but he wasn’t that great a player. The athleticism didn’t translate. I think as the season progressed, it started to translate much more. His athleticism is obviously very good, that’s not a scoop. The main concern is to get him to play to that on snap after snap after snap. …He could become a better football player over time [than Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel], so coaching becomes a really important element with Lane Johnson.

** Note that Cosell’s comments came before the draft during a Yahoo Sports podcast.

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  • EaglefaninAZ

    I like this pick for sure. The “up tempo” angle here is key. Now hope we can get some better twos for these guys. Currently, if any (projected) starter on the line goes down to injury, we’re in deep doo-doo again.

  • GEagle

    Wonder if they can find someone to take Watkins off our hands…

    as bad as I wanted Dion..the most important thing for me was to use sun a high pick on some one with ALL WORLD potential…Not a good solid pro, not a probowler, we needed someone who could grow into an ALL Pro…we just drafted that one rare freak that’s probably even more athletic than Peters…That’s a HUGE WIN!…I think most of the top 10 will become good solid pros, but only a couple had the potential to become Elite…and we got one. great Pick!!

    I can’t speak on his Charecter…but with good coaching, and the right mental makeup, This man could become really really special

    • Wilbert M.

      Hopefully Chipper can fix Watkins. They’re going to need depth if they want to run 100 plays a game. Here’s the rest of the Eagles draft:

      2) #35 Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M
      3) #67 Brandon Williams, NT, Missouri Southern
      4) #101 Shamarko Thomas, S, Syracuse
      5) #136 Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
      7) #210 Ricky Wagner, OT, Wisconsin
      7) #212 Brandon Kaufman, WR, Eastern Washington
      7) #218 Lawrence Okeye, DE
      7) #239 Pete Scaffidi, QB, Lake Forest College

      • Have a feeling we’ll try and find a way to pick up another mid rounder, 2-5

        • Wilbert M.

          That pick might come via a Foles or Curry trade.

          • GEagle

            I think we are trading back in round 2 ATleast 10 spots, grabbing Escobar or Kelce, while AQUIRING an extra 3rd

      • EAgle

        Jeff Fishr will take the honey badger before the 5th…1st round money to a backup guard?

  • GEagle

    How old is Lane?

  • GEagle

    Question: watching the draft, did anyone else get the impression that Dion was pissed off about being drafted by Miami? Lol no worries, Miami can develope him for us…see you in 5years Dion lol…should I start the daily countdown now til when he becomes a free agent? Too much?lol

    Btw, how old is lane?

    • Token

      we at least dodged that bullet

    • He did look shocked. I don’t think anyone saw that coming, Dion and the Eagles included. Lane is 23. He went the JuCo route so he’s a bit older.

      • Geagle


  • rjwill

    not so sure I’m happy taking the 3rd best player at his position with the 4th pick overall. Hope they are right about this one.

    • cliff henny

      bad way too look at it, he was rated as top 5 pick no matter where you looked. guy fills need for us, win/win.

    • I don’t think it has much to do with where he ranks at his position.. it was more about who they thought twas the best player there. Who went before him at his position is irrelevant.

    • GEagle

      RJ there is a real chance that 3years from now Lane is the best OT from this draft.

      We just added the one OT, that’s probably more athletic than Peters…The illustrious Poet known as IceCube would day…”Today was a good day” lol

    • morgan c

      third best player in the draft, also.

      • rjwill

        time will tell… i just don’t trust these late risers/senior bowl standouts. they’ve burned us in the past, especially guys with “high ceilings” and such. picking high like #4 I would expect someone who is a stud right now. also scary he’s only played o-line for 2 years. I hope it all pans out and he develops as advertised, something about this pick just makes me uncomfortable.

        • cliff henny

          probably because you’ve been an eagle fan for 25 yrs, lol. been at this near 35, they dont have alot of good will built up. it’s easy to be negative, site past failures, cause that’s all it’s ever been. a draft pick 5 yrs ago has zero effect on how johnson will turn out.

        • GEagle

          Here is what people don’t understand…there is no such thing as a late riser….there are a thousand experts and maybe 3 of them actually watch film before passing along their oppinion….just because Lane was. Late riser to the Experts, it does not mean he was a late riser to NFL teams….just like Milner, and Floyd…they didn’t fall in the draft, they were just over rated by the media….very different dynamic than being a late riser. Howie and Chip have known about Lane for a long time. Trust the process

  • Zachary Kahn

    I think that Johnson is a great pick. For those worried about his lack of experience, and understandably, think about this. Danny Watkins: limited football experience. Comes to philly, switches positions, and is asked to learn Howard Mudds scheme. Danny’s strengths coming out were run blocking and physicality, things he was never able to utilize under Andy Reid as he was consistently asked to pass protect on 5 and 7 seven drops. Now contrast that to Lane Johnson: a freakish athlete who will get to the 2nd level with ease and can develop into a polished pass protector. This offense will focus on getting the ball out quickly (screens, read-option, shorter routes) meaning Johnson will be able to play to his strengths. Position change? No. Complicated scheme to pick up? Nope. He’s in a much better situation then Danny was right off the bat.

    • cliff henny

      big difference b/t johnson vs watkins is danny played 3 yrs at tackle, that’s it. sure lane has been playing football since he was 7, just never stopped growing. his football knowledge should be pretty high figuring he’s switched from qb to TE to DE to OT in 4 yrs without much of a hitch. wasnt a guy ever on my radar, OTs just arent sexy picks to talk about for months on end, but was pretty relieved when i heard his name

      • poetx99

        great point. the other thing (having played TE) is that his football IQ would be way higher than watkins’, given that his background, in order, are the two positions on offense with the thickest playbooks.

        everyone knows what the QB knows. but TEs are responsible for reading both defensive fronts AND coverages, and adapting on the fly (changes in protection, if staying in, and sight adjustments/hot routes and options based upon the coverage and positioning of the secondary while running at full speed).

        i’m having a hard time curbing my enthusiasm for this year.

      • Zachary Kahn

        I agree. I think Lane is on a team that will let his strengths shine through.

  • JofreyRice

    Agree w Cosell, will be some mistakes and inconsistency as he adjusts. Hopefully he’s a solid starter by years end and hits probowl form sometime in the next 3 years.

    • jabostick

      Agreed. Also, if the rest of the line comes back healthy (a big ‘IF’, I know) than you should be able to mask the inconsistencies a bit because the other 4 guys are so good. I’m pumped to see McCoy run behind this line.

  • xlGmanlx

    Could Todd switch to LG and bump Mathis inside? I’m not exactly sold on Kelce yet.