Player: DT P.J. Johnson, Arizona
Pick: Round 7, 229 overall
Ht.Wt.: 6-4, 334
Workout results: Not invited to the Combine, he reportedly was timed in 5.07 seconds in the 40 and did 20 reps in the bench press.
Bio: An intriguing prospect because of his size and multi-sport background at Burbank High School in Sacramento, where he played baseball, basketball and football. Made the college rounds – Sacramento State, Community College of San Francisco and finally one season at Arizona before deciding to enter the draft to support his family. In 10 games in 2018 he had 31 tackles, 8.5 for loss and three sacks.
View photos of defensive tackle PJ Johnson.
Analyst take – Lance Zierlein, NFL.com: “Big, upright interior defender who can be a disruptive force against the run thanks to his upper body twitch that allows for quick wins at the point of attack.”
Mike O’Hara’s take: Small college background before his one season at Arizona could be a concern – but not if you consider the background of Damon Harrison Sr. – who made it to the NFL after playing at William Penn. Talent finds a pathway to the NFL. P.J. Johnson will get his chance to make a career.
Tim Twentyman’s take: A mammoth of a man at 6-foot-4 and 335 pounds. Johnson showed an ability to play in the opponent's backfield at times last season with 8.5 tackles for loss and three sacks from the interior. The Lions are deep along their defensive line, but Johnson has a skill set and body type that’s worth taking a look at in the seventh round of the draft.
Defensive tackle depth chart: A strong position, with A’Shawn Robinson and Harrison returning, along with Da’Shawn Hand who can play end and tackle. John Atkins played sparingly in 2018 as an undrafted rookie after being signed to the practice squad in September.