Jermaine Johnson is a perfect fit for Robert Saleh’s New York Jets defense
The reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Johnson finished his 2021 season with 12 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, and one touchdown on a fumble recovery. His 70 total tackles lead all Power-5 defensive linemen, and his 12 sacks ranked seventh in the country amongst all college defenders.
Johnson’s combination of power, arm length, quickness, and raw speed makes him a multifaceted player capable of winning any way a coach could ask for. His elite physical gifts allow him to thrive in all aspects of the game.
As a run defender, Johnson flashes excellent strength at the point of attack, using his length and power to keep blockers out of his frame, then tossing them away to free himself and make plays.
Johnson can run around blockers just as easily as he can run through them, using his speed and fluidity to jump across gaps at the snap, leaving offensive linemen grasping at air. He also has enough speed to chase ball carriers to the edge, rarely giving up the corner and turning potential big plays into tackles for loss.
Johnson’s power and explosion translate into his pass rushing too.
His strength and length make him an effective bull-rusher, pushing past offensive tackles with ease once he gets his hands on them. He also has enough strength to fight through double teams or late help from other blockers, meaning offenses can’t simply give him extra attention and expect to erase him entirely.
As good as he is at overpowering his opposition, Johnson is just as good at olé-ing them as well.
Knowing most blockers have to brace against his power, Johnson can set up his opponents by closing ground early in his rush, scaring them into anchoring down, then crossing their faces and getting to the corner before they have a chance to react. On top of his initial quickness, Johnson possesses great flexibility in his hips and ankles to flatten down at the top of his rushes and convert pressures into sacks.
Jermaine Johnson’s athletic talents give him a near-limitless ceiling, and considering Robert Saleh‘s stellar record of developing defensive linemen, he’s far more likely to reach that ceiling than he is to crash and burn.
Watch the full video review below for a detailed film breakdown of all aspects of Jermaine Johnson’s game.