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2024 NFL Draft: Jackson Powers-Johnson scouting report

WCG’s lead draft analyst breaks down one of the top centers in the 2024 NFL Draft.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 18 Oregon at Arizona State Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Arguably the biggest breakout offensive lineman in college football this year was Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson.

Granted, JPJ was dominant in limited playing time in 2022, allowing just 2 pressures and no sacks in 181 pass-blocking opportunities. He played every position but left tackle for the Ducks as a backup, but it wasn’t until 2023 when he cracked the starting lineup that he truly broke into that upper echelon. Now, he’s a unanimous All-American and the Rimington Award winner as the best center in college football.

What exactly does Powers-Johnson do well, though? Was his one year of starting tape good enough to propel him to OC1 territory? Let’s explore this by breaking down one of the top centers in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Games watched: vs. Washington, 2022; vs. UCLA, 2022; @ Texas Tech, 2023; vs. Oregon State, 2023

Strengths

  • Dense frame at 6-foot-3 and 320 pounds
  • Offers tremendous versatility along the offensive line
  • Plays with very good raw power proportioned evenly within his frame
  • Athletic blocker who accelerates well climbing to the second level
  • Does a good job of keeping his legs churning to generate movement at the line of scrimmage
  • Pad level and weight distribution improved in 2023
  • Pretty mobile blocking on the move, and his coordination as a down blocker is encouraging
  • Blocks with a mean streak

Weaknesses

  • Only a one-year full-time starter
  • Prone to occasionally leaning forward a bit too often when engaged in contact
  • Doesn’t seem to offer elite length
  • Strike location at the initial point of contact could improve a bit

Summary

Powers-Johnson may have only started for one season at Oregon, but his one season was incredible.

The physical attributes are impressive with JPJ, as he has the athleticism and play strength needed to thrive in a faster and more physical NFL game. He blocks to the whistle and has the scheme versatility needed to appeal to practically all NFL teams. Though he projects best as a center in the pros, his capability to play everywhere along the offensive line also bodes well for his immediate playing time.

A first-round pick might be a bit rich for Powers-Johnson, but there’s no reason to think he shouldn’t be off the board before Round 3. He has the tools to make the jump to the next level, and the dominant tape to contribute right away.

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