2022 NFL draft scouting report: Florida State EDGE Jermaine Johnson II

Florida State EDGE Jermaine Johnson II

254 pounds

Yahoo Sports' 2022 NFL draft grade

6.44 — possible first-rounder; possible immediate starter

TL;DR scouting report

Rising two-way impact defender who broke out in one season of dominance for the Seminoles after starting his career buried on Georgia's depth chart

The skinny

A 4-star Rivals recruit in 2019 (No. 2 junior college recruit nationally) in the Class of 2019, Johnson picked Georgia over Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Colorado after logging 12 tackles and 19.5 TFLs in 20 games at Independence (Kan.) Community College. In two years at Georgia, Johnson tallied eight TFLs, 7.5 sacks and a forced fumble in 21 games (four starts). But after being stuck in shockingly stocked depth chart there, he transferred to FSU, where he was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2021. He totaled 18 TFLs, 12 sacks, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery run back for a score. Johnson played at the Senior Bowl.

Jermaine Johnson II made the most of his one season at Florida State, notching 12 sacks after transferring from Georgia. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Jermaine Johnson II made the most of his one season at Florida State, notching 12 sacks after transferring from Georgia. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)


  • Terrific athletic specimen with explosiveness, strength and quickness

  • Outstanding length — 6-5 with 34-inch arm and condor's wingspan (82 7/8 inches)

  • Turned in great 40 time (4.58) and broad-jump number (10-foot-5) at NFL combine

  • Intense player who ratchets up his game on money downs

  • Ox-strong — take-on strength to set a hard edge, brawl through double teams

  • Violent, heavy hands — unleashes them and strikes with pop

  • Gets low despite height and gets up into blockers' bodies

  • Motor runs white hot until the final whistle

  • Big hitter — doesn't get cheated out of getting his shots on ballcarriers

  • Shockingly diverse pass-rush approach for relatively inexperienced player

  • Will throw the kitchen sink at pass blockers — keeps tackles guessing

  • Flashes a wicked spin move, lethal cross-chop and effective push-pull (see Miami, Boston College, Clemson games)

  • Gave possible top-five pick, NC State's Ikem Ekwonu, all he could handle in head-to-head battles

  • Put on an absolute show at the Senior Bowl — best practice player in Mobile in first two practices before calling it a week

  • Finds ways to influence passers even when he doesn't get home

  • Doesn't give up on plays and makes hustle sacks when tackles let their guards down

  • Played fewer than 60 snaps once last season — came out early in blowout of UMass

  • Miscast in Georgia's defense as 3-4 OLB but still made the most of his snaps

  • Plenty of tread left on his tires — fewer than 1,200 career snaps

  • Experience dropping in coverage occasionally

  • Played in both odd/even fronts, played multiple techniques, rushed from two- and three-point stances

  • Highly confident, driven performer who takes his craft seriously


  • Average hand size (9 5/8 inches) and can still use them more effectively

  • Will occasionally stay glued to blocks, unable to detach

  • Can be undisciplined and run out of his gap

  • Loses sight of the ball at times

  • A little tight turning the corner on rushes

  • Cut blockers can take out his legs

  • Can be stressed with read-option game in space

  • Lacks a true speed rush to fly by bigger, slower tackles

  • Skilled technicians can use his aggressiveness against him

  • Will lose contain over-pursuing at times — can run a wide arc and be flushed out

  • Already 23 years old — with breakout season coming at age 22 (the younger the breakout season, the better, most analytics people will tell you)

Best-suited destination

Johnson is tailored to be a down rusher in an even front, although he's shown that he can stand up as a rusher at times and even drop to keep defenses honest. But we believe he's best suited rushing mostly from a three-point stance, likely as a strong-side defender who can dispatch tight ends and right tackles and anchor a run defense. With more fine-tuning, Johnson could be a special pro in time.

Did you know

One of the best battles at the Senior Bowl came at the end of the first day's National Team practice: Johnson vs. Kentucky's Darian Kinnard. Read all about it here.

Player comp

Similar coming out to another junior-college pass rusher, the Cowboys' Demarcus Lawrence.

Expected draft range

Top 20, with an outside shot to crack the top 10