Everything you need to know about Lane Johnson
With the 4th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Philadelphia Eagles selected OT Lane Johnson from Oklahoma.
Let’s all take a minute to breathe a collective sigh of belief that it wasn’t Geno Smith.
Ok, now here’s what you want to know.
Who is Lane Johnson?
In short, he’s a ridiculous, freakish, otherworldly athlete.
Here are some unbelievable numbers from the draft combine:
4.72 second 40-yard dash
34.0 inch vertical leap
9’10” standing broad jump
4.52 second 20-yard shuttle
You might expect results like that from an athletic tight end, or a big linebacker. You’d never expect that from a guy who is 6’6″ and weighs 303 lb.
But can he play football?
You tell me. He’s the one wearing #69.
Is Johnson a mauler? No. And he likely never will be. But Chip Kelly doesn’t require that of his players. What he does require is quickness and size. Johnson has both of those attributes, and then some. Johnson also played a fair bit of no-huddle at Oklahoma, so you know he’s capable of keeping up with Chip Kelly’s game speed.
After high school, Johnson originally played quarterback at tiny Kilgore College in Texas. After transferring to Oklahoma, he transitioned to tight end for a while before becoming an offensive tackle. Anybody who can make that kind of transformation over the course of two years is the very definition of versatile, which seems to be one of the major focal points of the new-look Eagles.
In all, this pick fits with the team’s philosophy, and with only a few years of experience under his belt Johnson still has a lot of room to improve.
So what does this mean for the Eagles?
It’s likely that Todd Herremans will shift back to his more natural position right guard and Johnson will start at right tackle. Danny Watkins figures to be the odd-man out, but he may stick around as a backup/depth/reclamation project. With Jason Peters and Jason Kelce both returning from injury, and Evan Mathis continuing his excellent play at left guard, the offensive line may indeed be one of the strengths on next year’s team.
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