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Former Temple tackle Leon Johnson could make the Broncos’ practice squad

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But the rookie tackle will have to overcome a recent history of injuries and show some technique improvement to earn a spot.

Houston v Temple Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Name: Leon Johnson
Position: OG
Height: 6’4” to 6’6” (depending on which website you check)
Weight: 300-330 lb (also depending on which source chosen)
Age: 23
Experience: R
College: Temple

The Good

Having been a full-time starter for three years and playing both right and left tackle for the Temple Owls—plus even some time at guard—Leon Johnson can bring some much-needed versatility to the Broncos’ offensive line.

“I want to thank coach Weis for putting guys in positions and changing us all the time in practice,” Johnson told philly.com, referring to offensive line coach Chris Wiesehan. “You could play anywhere, even center and practicing at all the positions and has really helped me.”

Although he’ll be a developmental player at the offensive tackle position in 2018, his size and strength could give him a chance to become a legitimate threat in the NFL.

From Draft Analyst:

“Johnson is a strong, wide-bodied tackle who is also very effective with his hands, consistently sets with a wide base and works to bend his knees. Fires off the snap into blocks, displays strength on running plays and turns defenders from the action to open up running lanes. Patient in pass protection, makes good use of angles and keeps his feet moving. Keeps his head on a swivel and shows excellent awareness.”

Johnson was also a team captain and was very involved in giving back to the community while at Temple, working with several charitable endeavors, including the School District of Philadelphia, to spread awareness on heart health for children and promoting Pizza Hut’s literacy program, “Book It,” where youngsters get rewarded for reading.

“These causes mean a lot to me,” said Johnson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising at Temple.

The Bad

Draft Analyst cited poor footwork in space and states Johnson is “a little haphazard in his movement.” Draft Bible noted his “technique could use some refinement all around” as areas of needed improvement. But those things can be improved at the next level.

A history of injury could be a bigger issue.

As noted previously, Johnson’s 2017 campaign was marred with injuries including having hip and groin surgeries in January 2017 and shoulder surgery later in March. An ankle issue in the fall of 2017 didn’t keep him from playing every game his senior year, but it did keep him from dominating.

The good news is Johnson feels healthy as he starts his training with the Broncos.

“I am 100 percent,” Johnson said last December heading into the draft process. “In 2017 I wasn’t able to be myself because I was hurt, and I wouldn’t let myself miss any games.”

Quotable

This comment from his coach at Temple nicely sums up the upside to signing Johnson.

2018 Status

While Johnson has probably only an outside chance of cracking the 53 thanks to an offseason upgrade with Jared Veldheer and the new potential of Connor McGovern, he will most likelybe playing for a spot on the practice squad—and given how easily an O-line can disintegrate during a season due to injury, it never hurts to have versatile players ready to step in.

But the Broncos also gave him a nice signing bonus, so they obviously see some potential.

Poll

Will Leon Johnson make the team?

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Definitely a Practice Squad guy
    (404 votes)
  • 9%
    Not likely
    (54 votes)
  • 18%
    IDK, but with that awesome hair, I hope he stays!
    (103 votes)
561 votes total Vote Now