Jaleel Johnson, DL, Iowa
Ht. 6'3", Wt. 309, Arm: 32¾", Hand: 9¾", Bench: -
40 yd: -, 10 yd.: -, 3 Cone: -, Vertical: -, Broad: -
Games Watched: Purdue (2015), Iowa St., Penn St.
New York-native Jaleel Johnson moved in with his aunt in Illinois, where he was an All-America high school lineman and varsity wrestler. After committing to Iowa, he took a while to make an impact. He redshirted in 2012 and managed 1 sack in 20 games as a rotational player during his next two years.
After being named a starter, he finished the 2015 season with 45 tackles, 4 sacks and 5.5 TFL. He was even better as a senior, with 56 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 10 TFL on his way to first-team all-conference honors. He then opened many eyes at the Senior Bowl, where he was unblockable in practice and clocked at 19 mph, faster than any running back.
• Burst - Flashes top first step
• Speed - Insane long speed, converts to power
• Hands - Quick, strong punch
• Length - Uses long arms well
• Strength - Strong lower body
• Instinctive - Intuitive block beater
• Agility - Good body control, can slip blockers
• Attitude - High motor, nasty demeanor
• Disengaging - Trouble shedding blockers
• Pad Level - Can play tall at times
• Run Defense - Struggle when he doesn't initiate contact
• Consistency - Looks technically raw occasionally
Verdict: First Round
I have a soft spot for linemen with wrestling backgrounds like Johnson because they typically use better natural leverage and are athletically instinctive. Johnson disappeared at times on tape when he lets blockers into him, but he's tough to block when he controls contact. If he can be a little more consistent with his technique, he could be the best defensive tackle from this class.
Johnson is similar to Maliek Collins, the Cowboys' third-round pick last year, but he's a more complete player. He's a disruptive one-gapping 3-technique and talented enough to improve the team right away If the team misses out on the top edge rushers in the first round, Johnson could be an option with the 28th overall pick.