Sooners coach Bob Stoops said earlier this week that when he asked how long it would take for Johnson to reach 300 to be an offensive lineman, the response was: “about a week and a cheeseburger.”
Johnson’s listed weight for his final season of football in Norman was 303 pounds. He is 6-foot-7.
Then on the 40-yard dash, he went and ran a 4.72. With 303 pounds of weight.
That’s .01 seconds faster than Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead. He weighs only 210 pounds.
So are the extra pounds hurting or helping Johnson? Sports Illustrated called the concept “The New Balance,” writing “Man boobs or mobility? Thunder thighs or the faster 40 at the Combine? For so many wide-body prospects in this rapidly evolving game – the read option, the spread – every pound is a double-edged sword.”
The article focuses on Alabama guard Chance Warmack, 6-2, 319 pounds, and whether or not it’s worth big guys to be big versus fat, whether left tackles are even as special as they were when Michael Oher had a blockbuster movie made out of him and his left tackle position, but Johnson is highlighted for what he could accomplish at his weight.
Among those who seemed to have listened is a trio of athletic left tackles who will likely be drafted among the first 15 picks. Best known among them is Texas A&M’s Luke Joeckel, who protected the blind sides of drop-back passer Ryan Tannehill (2010 and ’11), and, last season, quicksilver scrambler Johnny Manziel. The 6’6″, 306-pound Joeckel is blessed with Pendry’s power pack, but for the odds-on favorite to be taken first, his upper-body is surprisingly … ordinary.
Slightly more yoked is Eric Fisher, a 6’7″ 306-pounder out of Central Michigan who is making a late push to supplant Joeckel at No. 1. After laboring in semiobscurity in the MAC, Fisher graded out as the top prospect in the Senior Bowl. And less polished than Joeckel or Fisher, but sharing their steep upside, is Johnson, a high school QB who played tight end and defensive end for the Sooners before moving to tackle two years ago.
Johnson made a pile of money at the combine, deflecting attention from his lack of experience with a series of jaw-dropping efforts, recounted here by Mayock: “He ran 4.72 in the 40—at 303 pounds. That’s as fast as [49ers wideout] Anquan Boldin ran. He jumped 34 inches, which is [a half inch less than Bengals wide receiver] A.J. Green jumped. And he broad-jumped 9’10″, which is what [Patriots running back] Stevan Ridley jumped. That’s the freakiest combine ever.”
Read the full article here.