Better Know a Draft Prospect: LSU Guard Herman Johnson


Once again we are looking at the offensive line, a common theme this year. While the Left Tackle position is getting the most attention, injuries decimated the inside of the line more than the outside. Brad Meester, Vince Manuwai, Chris Naeole all went down with injuries. There are some intriguing prospects at the Guard, including Duke Robinson of Oklahoma, Andy Levitre of Oregon State, and the subject of this report, Herman Johnson.

Gene Smith says he wants to build from the Inside out? Well how about a guy who was the largest baby born in Louisiana.  Herman Johnson is an All-SEC offensive linemen with great power and is a true road grader for a Guard. Even in this day and age where lineman are supposed to be monsterous, Johnson truly is a "Mountain of a man" at 6'7" 355 lbs.

Johnson is a good candidate for a 3rd round draft choice. He can play either guard position, as well as Right Tackle if pressed.


Video Killed The Scouting Report


Herman Johnson By The Numbers

At A Glance
Position 1:  Guard
Height:  6-7
Position 2:  Right Tackle
Weight:  355
Class:  Senior Age:  22
Projected Round: 2-4

 40time:  5.5

If there's one thing you take away from Johnson, it's that he is absolutely massive. The one major concern though is that he is simply one of those guys who it will always be a struggle to keep optimum weight.

According to the Experts


FF Toolbox: While Johnson's size clearly sets him apart, it's the rest of his game that really makes the LSU star a can't-miss NFL prospect. Quite simply, men that large are not supposed to move the way Johnson can move. His 40 time is under 5.5 and he has apparently gone under 5.3 at one point.

NFL Draft Countdown: Rare size and speed, great push in the run game, plays with a mean streak, finishes a defender

Mocking The Draft: Surprisingly athletic, pulls and traps well, can handle the even the strongest defensive tackles on his own


FF Toolbox: His quickness and technique, however, must continue to improve as his size will not be as much of a factor in the NFL, where other linemen can match his size.

NFL Draft Countdown: Not a natural knee bender, doesn't always play with leverage, must improve footwork

Mocking The Draft: Probably the most disappointing player during Senior Bowl practices, Inconsistent play, especially his technique, Not a very good cut blocker.

According to the Blogosphere

I spoke with the guys over at And the valley shook, SBN's LSU blog, and this is what they had to say on Johnson.

He was actually recruited out of Texas with thoughts of making him a defensive tackle.  He was quickly moved to offensive tackle, but his career really took off when he was made into an offensive guard.  He's taller than guards usually are, but the QB never doinked one off his helmet that I can recall. 
At guard, his shortcomings at tackle were masked.  He is not particularly quick-footed, and it made him a liability in pass protection going against quick defensive ends.  He is plenty quick enough to take on the big defensive tackles, and his size and strength become a real asset at guard.  There's been talk about him possibly moving to tackle, but he is a guard.  He could never be a left tackle but he could maybe fill in at right tackle.  He could really be a good player at guard. 
The big downside to Herman is his weight.  He's one of those guys who will probably forever struggle with maintaining optimum weight.  This year he showed up to fall camp way overweight and it showed.  He probably wasn't as good this year as he was in the 2007 season.
I hear he's kind of a quiet guy, but really friendly and intelligent when you get talking to him.  I wouldn't know because I've never met him, but that's the word.  His best friend on the team was reportedly scat-back Trindon Holliday.  If you look on the internet, you can find pictures of Herman and Trindon standing together.  Trindon's tiny, and is about a foot shorter or more, and weighs less than half of what Herman weighs.

Why Should Herman Johnson be a Jacksonville Jaguar

Johnson would be a great fit for the Jaguars at guard. A big road clearing guard in the run game is just what the doctor ordered for the team after the patchwork play of the line last season. The big concern is his weight, and his showing at the Senior Bowl will scare some NFL teams off. However, if he is available in Round 3 or 4, I believe the gains far outweigh the possible risks.


Up Next Week

West Virginia QB Pat White, Pitt RB (And new Vic man crush) LeSean McCoy, and Baylor OT Jason Smith

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