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2022 NFL Draft: Could Jermaine Johnson be the heir to Chandler Jones?

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NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

We are just days away from the 2022 NFL Draft and who the Arizona Cardinals could take is really up in the air.

Mostly because when you draft 23rd, you have very little control over anything.

So, we continue our look through players who the Cardinals have met with that could be in play for round one and that continues with Jermaine Johnson.

From Dane Brugler:

A one-year starter at Florida State, Johnson lined up as the field defensive end in defensive coordinator Adam Fuller’s four-man front. Considered a key member of Georgia’s front-seven (third on the team in sacks in 2020), he bet on himself by transferring to Tallahassee to be a full-time starter, and he responded with a career year in 2021, including an ACC-best 18.0 tackles for loss and 12.0 sacks. Johnson is a long, athletic edge defender with the quick feet and natural instincts to win as a pass rusher and make stops vs. the run. Although he can be too segmented and upright in his rush attack, his motor runs hot, and his wipe/rip/stab moves are angry. Overall, Johnson has average get-off, but his length, agility and active hands lead to disruption as both a pass rusher and run defender. He projects as an every-down NFL starter.

Lance Zierlein:

Ascending edge prospect. Johnson has NFL traits and the potential to keep getting bigger and better as a pro. He is a one-year full-time starter with an underdeveloped pass rush and occasional lapses in awareness, but both areas should be correctable with more coaching and game experience. He’s more instinctive and consistent as a run defender, but his length and relentlessness are excellent building blocks for challenging protection. Johnson’s blend of strength and athleticism should make him a firm edge-setter and playmaker near the line of scrimmage for odd or even fronts. He has the traits, athleticism and talent to project as a top-40 pick with a bright future.

We’ve seen Johnson mocked as high as the top five, while also falling out of round one. That is the reality of a one-year production wonder who turns 24 this year.

He has the goods from an athletic and build standpoint. He was productive in his lone season being able to do his thing as opposed to playing in Georgia’s dominant but assignment driven defense.

His high end could be a Robert Quinn level edge rusher, but he likely profiles closer to Saints pass rusher Marcus Davenport.

Would you take Johnson at 23?