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Eric Johnson to visit with the Bengals, Steelers and Ravens

The AFC North seems locked in on the Missouri State rusher.

NCAA Football: Missouri State at Oklahoma State Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Getting a look from one NFL team should be considered an accomplishment; however, when 3 of the AFC North’s 4 teams want to meet with you, that should spur just about every other NFL team to be on notice.

That’s what defensive end Eric Johnson is feeling right now. Johnson, per Aaron Wilson, will meet with the Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, and Pittsburgh Steelers this week.

The standout defender is coming out of Missouri State. The senior earned All-MVFC second-team honors, starting all 10 games for the Bears. During those games, he racked up 27 tackles, 6 tackles for a loss, and 1.5 sacks.

Johnson stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 300 pounds. The numbers during his college stint aren’t necessarily there, but the intangibles are. With the Bengals looking for depth on their defensive line, the need for a player like Johnson could be high.

“Johnson is a stellar athlete for a 300-pounder. When he gets off the ball cleanly, he flies and overwhelms guards instantly with his explosiveness. He also has the side-to-side quickness to slash into adjacent gaps at will. He is also effective at turning his shoulders and flying across an offensive lineman’s face to get into gaps further away. Whenever Johnson frees himself into space this well, he generally does well to move fluidly and find the ball-carrier,” Bleacher Report wrote in their scouting report of Johnson.

They dub him a 5th-round pick which would mean an early Day 3 selection. With several teams targeting him, there’s reason to believe he may go even higher. They compare Johnson to Kendall Reyes who was a 3-year full-time starter for the San Diego Chargers.

For Cincinnati, adding Johnson could make sense, especially since they’re set to lose interior lineman Larry Ogunjobi. Johnson has the size to develop into a terrific rusher, and with Frank Pollack, the sky would be the ceiling for the Missouri State standout.