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.