Unpacking Future Packers: No. 83, Oregon OL Jackson Powers-Johnson

The Unpacking Future Packers Countdown is a countdown of 100 prospects that could be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2024 NFL draft.

The Green Bay Packers haven’t drafted an offensive lineman in the first round since they selected Derek Sherrod with the 32nd overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. 

If they were to end that streak would it be by taking an interior offensive lineman that weighs 334 pounds? History would say negative ghost rider.

With the Packers potentially looking for a new starting right guard and possibly looking to find their long-time starting center, there is a chance, however small, that the Packers target Jackson Powers-Johnson early in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Oregon interior offensive lineman checks in at No. 83 in the Unpacking Future Packers Countdown.

A four-star recruit, with a background in wrestling, Powers-Johnson finished his career at Oregon with 15 starts at center and 13 starts at right guard. Powers-Johnson also started one game at defensive tackle during the 2021 Alamo Bowl. 

This past season Powers-Johnson started 13 games at center for the Ducks and he was the Rimington Award winner. 

“I think it’s fair to say that Jackson Powers-Johnson was one of, if not the most crucial pieces in Oregon’s offense last year,” Zachary Neel, the editor for, said. “He had incredibly big shoes to fill coming in as a first-time starter and taking over for Alex Forsyth, who was a semi-finalist for the Remington Award, and he simply went on to surpass that and win the Rimington Award. Whether it was his physicality, ability to quarterback the offensive line and get people in the right checks, or simply that high spirit that he brought to spur on the team, I think you could make the case that if Bo Nix was No. 1 on the Oregon MVP ballot, Jackson Powers-Johnson was just a hair behind him at No. 2.”

Powers-Johnson fires out of his stance to quickly cover up defenders. The former four-star recruit is mobile and showcases good range as a run blocker. His background as a wrestler is evident as he stays low and creates movement to open up running lanes. He plays with tenacity as a run blocker and will step in on day one to help improve a team’s rushing attack. 

JPJ’s physicality and size are certainly his strengths, but he can move at that size which is so impressive,” Neel said. “Standing at 6-foot-3, 335 pounds, Powers-Johnson has the ability to be one of the most dynamic run-blockers in his draft class, with a proven track record of getting out into open space and finishing blocks far downfield. It should come as no surprise to fans reading this that JPJ was featured on ESPN Get Up’s pancake block segment hosted by Jeff Saturday several times throughout the 2023 season. He knows how to finish.”

In pass protection, Powers-Johnson plays with good knee bend and keeps a low center of gravity. He has quick feet and keeps his head on a swivel. This past season, Powers-Johnson gave up zero sacks and just one pressure. 

“I think Powers-Johnson’s footwork is impressive at his size, and again that physicality comes into play as well,” Neel said. “JPJ has also shown a high football IQ, so he does well at recognizing pressures and being able to check into the proper coverages.”

Fit with the Packers

If the 2024 season were to kick off today, Green Bay’s starting offensive line would look like Rasheed Walker, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Sean Rhyan and Zach Tom

The depth behind that starting five is less than desirable. Powers-Johnson offers center-guard versatility, and he’s taken limited (five) snaps at right tackle. 

“You know the common nomenclature of a “football guy?” Whatever you choose to define that as in your head, Jackson Powers-Johnson is a football guy,” Neel said. “He’s selfless, hard-working, and elite at what he does. He was the first center in not only Oregon Ducks history, but in Pac-12 Conference history to win the Rimington Award, and he did that in his first year starting at the center position. The physical traits are easy to see on film, but when you talk to him in interviews, or you hear his teammates and coaches talk about him, it’s clear that JPJ is one of the best locker room guys around. I think he would be a fantastic addition to any team who needs the interior offensive line, and he will likely have a long NFL career ahead of him.”

The chances of the Packers taking Powers-Johnson with the 25th overall pick are slim. It’s possible that the Oregon center isn’t even on the board when the Packers are on the clock with the 25th overall pick.

The Packers have had a ton of success drafting offensive linemen outside of the first round. Outside of taking wide receivers in the second round, their bread and butter in the NFL Draft is selecting offensive linemen on Day 3 and developing them into studs.

It’s a formula that’s worked for them and they’ll likely stick to it during the 2024 NFL Draft. 

Having said all that, Gutekunst selected Jenkins with the 44th overall pick during the 2019 NFL Draft and two years later selected Myers with the 62nd overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s shown that he’s willing to spend a premium pick on interior lineman.

Gutekunst has his franchise quarterback. Now, it’s all about setting him up for success. The best way to do that is to ensure he stays upright.

Bo Nix, Oregon’s starting quarterback this past season was sacked just five times and Powers-Johnson played a major role in keeping Nix off the ground. 

It’s possible that Gutekunst could view Powers-Johnson as the future anchor of Green Bay’s offensive line. As a rookie, he could come in and compete for the starting right guard spot, as well as the starting center position, while providing quality depth along the interior. 

With Myers having just one year left on his rookie contract, Powers-Johnson could take over as the starting center in 2025. 

It’s not likely that the Packers draft an interior offensive lineman in the first round. However, it’s not impossible. Green Bay already has a solid group up front protecting Love. Adding a player like Powers-Johnson could help take that group to the next level. Never say never. 

Story originally appeared on Packers Wire