The Philadelphia Eagles have selected Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson with the fourth overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Pros: Very quick and athletic tackle who gets in his set off the snap in a hurry. Has the best pass-blocking kick-step in this draft class -- smooth, thorough, and economical when he's moving to establish the edge of the pocket. Pesky blocker at the line -- mirrors exceedingly well and matches counter-moves and foot-fakes. Uses his long arms (35 inches) to keep pass-rushers at bay and out of the octagon. Creates knockdowns with leverage; he's more powerful in one-on-one matchups than he's given credit for. Plays left and right tackle with equal aplomb. Hits to pull and shift to the second level -- he chips well and creates areas for backs by sealing the edge to linebacker depth and beyond.
Cons: Needs to pack on more muscle and play with better width -- doesn't always get wide in his base, will snap up too high, and lose leverage battles at times. Susceptible to inside moves if he doesn't get his hands up quickly enough. Tends to pop off blocks at times; needs to engage longer on a consistent basis. Will occasionally lunge when he should lock on and move through his progressions.
What he brings to the team: Speed, athleticism, and football frequency. Johnson has the ability to play very well in space, bring protection to multiple passing concepts, and there's a lot of room for growth here. Johnson hammered that home at the scouting combine, because he was able to show off his freakish athleticism. Terron Armstead of Arkansas-Pine Bluff set a record for offensive linemen with a 4.71 40-yard dash, but Armstead looks like a fourth-round player on tape. It was when Johnson, with his first-round tape in tow, ran a 4.72 40 that people really stood up, took notice, and started ranking him with the Joeckels and Fishers of the world. More importantly to his position, Johnson's 1.61-second 10-yard split was the best among all offensive linemen, and he aced the agility drills. NFL teams may have already had him in rarefied air, but there was little doubt when he left Indianapolis that Johnson was going to be a top-10 player.
Was it the right pick? Yes. Johnson is the most athletic tackle in this draft class, he fits Chip Kelly's high-volume offense like a glove, and he covers the Eagles' most glaring need.