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2016 NFL Draft Profile: Penn State defensive tackle Austin Johnson

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Domata Peko isn't going anywhere soon, but bringing in Austin Johnson as his eventual replacement would be a good move by the Bengals.

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Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Whether the Bengals go wide receiver, linebacker, cornerback or another position in the first round, this year's draft class is deep enough at defensive tackle that Cincinnati could wait until the second round to select a high-quality defensive tackle. Austin Johnson could be one of a few players who could shore up the Bengals' run defense, which has struggled in past playoff games.

Austin Johnson

Height: 6'4"

Weight: 314 lbs

Arm length: 32 3/4

Hands: 9 7/8

College: Penn State

Class: Redshirt junior

40 dash: 5.32

Bench press: 25 reps

Vert jump: 26.0"

Broad jump: 99.0"

3 cone: 7.84

20 yard shuttle: 4.75

NFL Comparisons

Johnson compared to other defensive tackles, per Mock Draftable

Johnson and his teammate, defensive end Carl Nassib, have gone under the radar, but both players appear to be second-round prospects. Johnson may go overshadowed in a loaded defensive tackle class, but he is a great run-stuffing nose tackle whose play style suggests he'd be a great fit in Cincinnati's 4-3 defense.

College Stats

G Solo Ast Total TFL Sack PD FR
2013 10 14 13 27 3 1 0 1
2014 12 19 30 49 6 1 3 2
2015 13 30 48 78 15 6.5 2 1
Total 35 63 91 154 24 8.5 5 4

Scouting Report Consensus - What to like

  • Great size for a pure nose tackle
  • Great nose for the ball, rare tackle production
  • Huge motor, doesn't give up against double-teams
  • Good pursuit for a nose tackle
  • Effort can't be understated; extremely hard worker

Scouting Report Consensus - What not to like

  • Struggles with pad level
  • More of a run-stuffer than a pass-rusher
  • Needs to extend arms, use his hands more
  • Doesn't have desired length of a nose tackle
  • Needs to try to win matchups rather than hold ground

Projected Round:

Round 2

Conclusion:

If the Bengals elect to take a defensive tackle in the second round, Johnson would almost surely remain on the board. He may not have the flashy production or measurables like other defensive tackle prospects, but he has a work ethic that will be hard to match. The knock on Johnson's lack of a pass-rushing ability isn't false, but the Bengals don't typically rely on their nose tackles to tally big sack numbers.

If Johnson were on the board in the second round, I'd certainly give him strong consideration. Like Peko, he's a high energy, high motor guy who proves that measurables aren't always the most important aspect to a player's game. Johnson has plenty of room for improvement, but I really like him as a second-round prospect.