Colts draft DT Eric Johnson at No. 159: How he fits with Indy

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The Indianapolis Colts started Day 3 of the 2022 NFL draft with a selection on the defensive side of the ball. With the No. 159 overall pick in the fifth round, the Colts selected defensive tackle Eric Johnson out of Missouri State.

Johnson adds depth to a defensive line that relies heavily on it for a deep rotation on game day. In Indianapolis, the defensive tackle spots have to be not only dominant against the run, but also are relied upon to use speed to generate interior pressure on the quarterback as well.

He gives the team yet another solidly athletic prospect to develop at a very young position group.

Here is a look at Johnson’s relative athletic score (RAS):

(Courtesy of Kent Lee Platte)

While not invited to the NFL scouting combine this year, Johnson likely won the Colts over with not only a solid showing at the Senior Bowl but another dominant performance at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl as well.

Johnson is quite the raw prospect, with not the most exciting tape, or stellar production at the collegiate level, but there are aspects of his game to like and potential to build upon.

He brings a wrestling background to the table, which is usually a plus for any lineman prospect. Having that knowledge likely has helped him develop good hand techniques and an understanding of using his leverage to move off of blockers which will help him continue to grow his game at the next level as the quality of blockers at the pro level increases dramatically.

Johnson will, in all likelihood, be fighting for a rotational depth spot behind two talented starters in All-Pro DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart.

However, should he continue to show what he flashed at the Senior Bowl throughout training camp, a reserve role would be his for the taking in 2022.

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