NFL Draft Prospect Spotlight: Patrick Johnson

Tulane defensive end Patrick Johnson has shown elite pass-rush ability, and that is why the Las Vegas Raiders took a look prior to the NFL Draft
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The Las Vegas Raiders' needs on both their offensive and defensive lines have been covered extensively across the NFL, including by us at Raider Maven.

While they did make upgrades to their defensive line like adding Pro Bowler Yannick Ngakoue, there is still room for the Raiders to add depth.

One potential piece they could find later in the 2021 NFL Draft is Tulane defensive end, Patrick Johnson.

He’s the teammate of Cameron Sample, another defensive end who we’ve previously previewed as a potential Raiders fit.

For the last three years, Johnson has been a pass-rushing menace for the Green Wave in the American Athletic Conference.

Johnson broke out as a sophomore in 2018, recording 10 sacks, 14 tackles for losses, and being ranked as the 16th-best edge player in college football by Pro Football Focus.

He didn’t quite reach that level of production again in his college career, although in nine games last season he finished with seven sacks and 11.5 tackles for losses.

When he’s at his best, Johnson is able to stay low with his 6-3, 255-pound frame and push up with an effective bull rush.

He can close in fast to the ball carrier when he has a clear lane and has an innate ability to react with his hands to a lineman so quickly it’s as if he knows where his hands will be before his opponent does.

Plus, he’s the kind of player that you’ll see sell out on every play on the field.

Johnson's not perfect of course. His smaller size means he doesn’t have the ideal measurables you would like to see from a modern-day D-lineman.

He’s likely not going to be very versatile, and he could struggle against tackles who can consistently keep their hands on him.

Not to mention, the questions Johnson will face regarding the level of competition he went up against in the AAC.

Still, this is a defensive end who earned a 91.2 pass-rush grade from PFF over the last three seasons.

Johnson knows how to get to the quarterback, and that will always be a skill in demand for NFL teams. 

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