Atlanta Falcons, Jermaine Johnson
Atlanta Falcons NFL Draft

The Atlanta Falcons Might Draft Jermaine Johnson in April

The Atlanta Falcons need a difference-maker along the edge of the defensive line.

The Atlanta Falcons have plenty of options with the 8th overall pick. One of the areas of need is the edge defender position. While many are focused on the Falcons pass rush (or lack thereof), having an edge defender who can do both is paramount in today’s NFL.

With many offenses utilizing RPO’s and wide zone rushing attacks, the pressure is on today’s defenders. Both quarterbacks and running backs dictate many of their play calls off of a specific player – or a ‘key.’ Often, it depends on what one of the edge defenders is doing. A player that is both disciplined and talented is necessary for today’s NFL defenses.

Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson turned heads at the Senior Bowl.

The Atlanta Falcons should consider Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson at #8. Most recently, Johnson turned heads at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. More specifically, in individual drills, Johnson showed off his pass rush arsenal against some top prospects.

While some became more familiar with Jermaine at the Senior Bowl, each of his opponents at Florida State knew precisely the kind of dominant player he was.

Johnson bet on himself this past season and it payed off.

This past season, Johnson transferred to Florida State as a former Georgia Bulldog to earn a starting role. In 12 games, he accumulated 17.5 tackles for loss in addition to 11.5 sacks on a struggling Seminole team that finished with a 5-7 win/loss record. However, his seemingly never-ending pass-rush repertoire makes him truly stand out.

He displays above-average athletic ability and excellent hand usage that keeps opposing offensive linemen guessing. But, as alluded to earlier, there are few great pass rushers – and there are even fewer great pass rushers that are also willing and above-average run defenders.

Above all, he is a player that can drastically change the team’s fortunes up-front. With the NFL Combine rapidly approaching, expect him to elevate his stock even more into the top-15 range. In addition, keep an eye on this wide receiver in the coming weeks for the team to potentially target as well.

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