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2017 NFL Scouting Report: Roderick Johnson, OT - Florida State

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The Denver Broncos will undoubtedly select an offensive tackle in the 2017 NFL Draft. Popular prospects linked to them are Garet Bolles, Ryan Ramcyzk and Cam Robinson, but Florida State's Roderick Johnson might end up being a better NFL player than any of them.

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Without question, one of the biggest priorities for the Denver Broncos heading into the 2017 NFL Draft is finding a prospect capable of manning down the left tackle position for the franchise. It's certainly a glaring need for the team and it's doubtful that anyone currently on the roster will be able to fill that void.  Given such, the popular opinion among fans and draft analysts is the team acquiring Utah's Garret Bolles, Wisconsin's Ryan Ramcyzk or Alabama's Cam Robinson in the first round of the NFL Draft to fulfill that need.

The aforementioned trio of prospects are widely-regarded as the best available at the position in this year's NFL Draft, but Florida State's Roderick Johnson has the potential to be better than any of them if a coach can hone in all his talent and carve him into the player he showed flashes of in his collegiate career with the Seminoles. Opinions vary greatly in respect to Johnson and where he will land in this year's NFL Draft, but I'm a believer in his abilities and think he has the chance to become a high-caliber starting left tackle in the NFL — but it may take a few years.

After starting his first game mid-season as a freshman against the Miami Hurricanes in 2014, Johnson never looked back and continued a streak of 31 consecutive starts at left tackle for Florida State.  Over the past two seasons, his high-level of play, although at times inconsistent, earned him back-to-back ACC Jacobs Blocking Trophy and All-ACC First-Team honors. There are few tackles in this class who have the accolades, honors and physical abilities that Johnson possesses, which is a reason I believe he will be selected quite early in this year's draft despite some of his glaring issues.

Roderick Johnson

Offensive Tackle Florida State

Height: 6'7" | Weight: 298 lbs. | Arm Length: 36" | Hands: 10 3/4"

40 Yard Dash: 4.91 seconds | Bench Press: 21 reps | Vertical: 29.5" | Broad Jump: 8' 7"

3 Cone Drill: 7.95 seconds | 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.94 seconds

Film Room and Highlights

Hart's Scouting Report

Positives: Elite size for the position and has the ability to put on more weight to his frame. Extraordinarily long arms give him the length and radius to combat speed rushers off the edge. Battle-tested tackle who started 31 games at left tackle for the Seminoles in one of collegiate football's best conferences. Regarded as an intelligent and hard-working by the Seminoles coaching staff. Very durable and has no past injury concerns. Gifted athlete with the ability to make plays on the move, operate in space and get to the second level in the run game. Dominant run blocker who finishes blocks with a nasty demeanor. Blocking prowess earned him back-to-back ACC Jacobs Trophies and was a primary reason for running back Dalvin Cook's success. Appeared to improve as the season went on and had no issues with Taco Charlton and Michigan's defensive line in the Orange Bowl.

Negatives: Only an average pass protector who needs refinement in his technique, especially in respect to his footwork and kick slide. Balance is an issue and surrenders most of his hurries, pressures and sacks on interior rushes. Not a natural knee-bender at tackle, instead waist-bends which leads to issues with his balance. Will most certainly need a year of coaching up before he can be trusted to play left tackle, but could see playing time as a rookie at right tackle due to his run blocking ability.

Overall: Day 2 Prospect. Johnson has all the physical tools to succeed at left tackle in the NFL, but needs to be coached up to improve his overall technique. Fortunately, his issues are correctable and he has everything you look for that cannot be taught. Consistency was an issue, but he really turned up his play the last half of this past season and showed the type of dominance he can ascend to at the next level. In my opinion, Johnson doesn't merit first round consideration, but should come off the board somewhere in the second round to a team who believes in his abilities and can mold him into a top-caliber left tackle.

Hart’s Pro Comparison: Ja'Wuan James

Does Roderick Johnson make sense for the Broncos?

Johnson is a frustrating prospect to evaluate because of his lack of consistency. Sometimes he is flat out dominant and looks like a sure-fire Top 15 selection, other games he looks like he is a late-round prospect at best. That being said, he has tons of potential and is a prospect who has the ability to become a great left tackle after a year or two of development and tutelage from a quality coaching staff.

He wouldn't provide an immediate solution to the Broncos' left tackle dilemma, but it's not a foregone conclusion that Bolles, Ramcyzk or Robinson would either. In terms of value, I would much prefer the Broncos rolling the dice on Johnson on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, as opposed to mortgaging draft capital (extra picks) to ensure they can select a first-round offensive tackle who all have big concerns and questions as well.

Patience will be required, but in time, I believe that Johnson will prove to be well worth the investment and wait for whatever team selects him later this week and develop into one of the best offensive tackles from the 2017 NFL Draft class.