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NFL Draft Scouting Report: Jordan Johnson

UCF’s beloved center should get a good shot at the next level

Central Florida v South Florida Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Our third NFL Draft Scouting Report is on one of our favorite UCF Knights of all time:

Jordan Johnson

Jordan Johnson
Jordan Johnson
Derek Warden

Jordan came to UCF as a well-recruited three-star kid from Ed White High School in Jacksonville. After starting 12 games at guard as a freshman in 2016, he moved over to center in 2017, and never looked back, starting all 39 games there his last three seasons.

Jordan was the anchor of the O-Line in his time at UCF, earning All-AAC First Team honors twice. UCF set an all-time team single season rushing record in 2018 behind his outstanding front recognition and blocking.

Aside from all that on-field stuff, JJ is also an incredible Twitter follow and a passionate vegan, and has credited his decision to follow a plant-based diet for his continued success and good health on the field.

Measurables

  • Position: Center
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 302 pounds

Combine Measurements

From the Hula Bowl:

  • Hand Size: 9 12 inches
  • Arm Length: 34 34 inches
  • Wingspan: 79 3/8 inches

From his virtual pro day:

  • 225-pound bench press: 21
  • Vertical leap: 31 inches
  • 40-yard: 5.25 seconds
  • Shuttle: 4.9 seconds
  • L-Drill: 8 seconds
  • Broad Jump: 8 feet, 8 inches

Pro Day

Highlights

Watch these O-Line highlights from UCF’s dominating win over UConn and keep an eye on #72 at center:

Three Good Things

Speed. You don’t survive as a center in Scott Frost’s or Josh Heupel’s offenses without being fast. You have to get to the line quickly, make your read, and go. He’s well-conditioned, and here’s where he says his conversion to veganism has helped him in terms of recovery time. He’s also an excellent puller on outside plays.

Run Blocking. UCF set a school record for rushing yards in a season in 2018 thanks largely to Jordan’s play up front. It didn’t matter where UCF attacked - he was there handling his business. He has quick hands and great feet, and that’s something pro O-Line coaches can work with.

Smarts. Jordan dominated at center in two distinct offenses, and although UCF scored a lot of points, the Knights have been a distinctly run-heavy team since 2016. Jordan is a master at recognizing fronts, reading schemes and tendencies, and aiding his offensive mates in finding and exploiting the defense’s weaknesses.

One Not-so-Good Thing

The shotgun offense center thing. NFL scouts seem to have a bug up their behinds with guys who play in shotgun-snap-heavy college offenses. But Johnson’s work ethic, quickness and run game prowess should enable smart scouts to look past that.

Best-Case NFL Comparison

Matt Paradis, Carolina Panthers. Paradis is 6-3 and 300 pounds even, right in line with Johnson. But in Denver, he was an anchor in the run game and the pass game, despite the Broncos’ troubles at QB. Though he’s not the biggest or strongest guy, he knows how to use his body to gain an advantage - so much so that the Panthers gave him $27 million over three years this off-season.

Draft Projection

Day three (Round 4-7)/UDFA. There are a lot of bigger centers out there that will get the scouts’ attention. But whichever team nabs Jordan in the late rounds or on the free agent market will get themselves a true diamond in the rough.