Las Vegas Raiders select Oregon C Jackson Powers-Johnson with the 44th overall pick. Grade: A+

The Raiders haven’t had a franchise-level center in a while, and while it’s too early to say that Jackson Powers-Johnson has the grit to match Jim Otto and Dave Dalby, he’s certainly the best center (and the best interior lineman) in this class. Imagine a combination of phone-booth bricklayer and versatile athlete on the move, and that’s who Powers-Johnson is. The Raiders could move him to guard to take advantage of that skill on the move, but I’d keep him inside where he dominated the Pac-12. 

A consensus four-star recruit out of Corner Canyon High School in Draper, Utah, Jackson Powers-Johnson chose Oregon over BYU, Liberty, Missouri, Nebraska, Utah, Utah State and Washington State. He played in 11 games as a true freshman in 2021, adding a bit of time at defensive tackle. Powers-Johnson’s first start for the Ducks didn’t come until November 19, 2022, against Utah, but Powers-Johnson was more than ready for that, and he continued to prove it in 2023.

Powers-Johnson became the first Pac-12 player in conference history to win the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s best center, and he received First-Team All-American honors from  the AFCA, the Associated Press, the FWAA, the Sporting News, and Walter Camp.

In 2023, Powers-Johnson allowed no sacks, no quarterback hits, and one quarterback hurry in 497 pass-blocking snaps. Over his three seasons with the Ducks, Powers-Johnson gave up no sacks, one quarterback hit, and three quarterback hurries in 758 pass-blocking reps. Add that to his run-blocking tape and his work on the move, and Powers-Johnson isn’t just plug-and-play for the NFL; he could well display All-Pro potential from his first step on the field.


— Powers-Johnson’s combine weight of 328 pounds is 98th percentile for centers, and he carries it well, Big frame, wide butt, and no wasted pounds. It’s all coming right at you off the snap, Slappy.

— Looks to exert physical dominance on every snap in the run game; that’s his default mechanism. He doesn’t just want to take you out of the play, he wants to embarrass you.

— Good movement skills to get upfield; keeps his head on a swivel and doesn’t seem overmatched in space.

— Upper-body strength is impressive; Powers-Johnson can take a defender by the pads and just shake him into oblivion.

— Aggressive hands allow him to deflect and defeat rushers; Powers-Johnson can take a head-over nose tackle and just obliterate him.

— Mobile and agile enough to win on pulls and at the second level.


— While Powers-Johnson moves well in space, he isn’t going to make anybody forget Jason Kelce as a move center. He can be pre-determined with his landmarks and will occasionally let a defender through.

— Needs to work on moving with defenders crossing his face and stunting; tends to attack what’s right in front of him. More of a lunger and grabber when he’s challenged laterally.

If I’m taking a guard or center in the first round, I need to see obvious physical and mental dominance at the position(s). No issue here — Powers-Johnson is a plug-and-play center in any scheme, and that tape is fun to watch. Let’s get nasty!

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire