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2024 NFL Draft

Jackson Powers-Johnson Could Go Later Than Most Expect

Pittsburgh Steelers first round target Jackson Powers-Johnson is going to be picked later than most people expect, according to Matt Miller.



Pittsburgh Steelers OL Jackson Powers-Johnson

Read any mock drafts these last few months? If you have, the Pittsburgh Steelers usually pick an offensive lineman. The two most common picks are Amarius Mims, and of course, Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson. Powers-Johnson has shot up boards after a fantastic Senior Bowl, but the media might be jumping a bit on his stock.

Matt Miller of ESPN has not heard the same love for Powers-Johnson in the league. While he could be a late first-round pick, Miller doesn’t buy that He would be a Top-25 pick.

“In talking to scouts over the past two weeks, it sounds like teams are not as high on Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson as the media consensus. JPJ had a strong early performance at the Senior Bowl before leaving the second practice with a hamstring injury. It was that early impression that saw him rise up draft boards. He followed that up with a good showing in position drills at the combine but didn’t participate in most of the other drills — he did only the bench press and vertical/broad jumps — before shutting it down. The feedback I’ve received from teams is that while he might go in the first round, it’s unlikely that he would be selected in the top 25 picks based on where teams are ranking him,” Miller wrote.

Steelers offensive line coach Pat Meyer travelled to Eugene for Oregon pro day to watch Powers-Johnson, according to Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy. Head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Omar Khan were not in attendance, which usually is a sign for future Steelers first-round picks.

But Powers-Johnson was put through his drills by Meyer. In the past, that has been a sign of the team going after someone in the class. This was the case for George Pickens, Joey Porter Jr., and others on the team in the past.

It’s rare for a center to go in the first round, but Powers-Johnson has played himself into legitimate first-round hype. His movement skills for someone of his size, over 330 pounds, are so rare. And yet, he has only started for one legitimate season. For someone that inexperienced at center to play the way he did speaks to coaching and the rare player, he is coming out of college.

On his lone day at the Senior Bowl, Powers-Johnson showcased elite core strength and even reset his hands twice after getting beat initially underneath his pads. But he is a former wrestler and understands how to maximize leverage and win at the point of attack. It should be no surprise that he has already made a name for himself.