2022 NFL Draft: Jermaine Johnson II Is The Biggest Winner From Senior Bowl Week

Jermaine Johnson II (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Jermaine Johnson II (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

With Senior Bowl festivities winding down, let’s take a look at the big winner of the week as well as some other 2022 NFL Draft notes. 

The Senior Bowl has gained more and more popularity on a national scale over the past few years. Former “winners of the week” include Chargers superstar quarterback Justin Herbert and small school standout Darius Leonard, who was selected by the Colts earlier than expected due to an impressive week in Mobile.

This year is a lot more of the same. There have been a number of players that have increased their stock in a major way. None more so than Florida State’s own Jermaine Johnson ll. The Last Chance U alum had been gaining steam towards a first-round grade in the 2022 NFL Draft prior to Senior Bowl week but he cemented it with two stellar performances in the Tuesday and Wednesday one-on-one portion of practices.

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve likely watched this clip of Johnson rag-dolling fellow first round hopeful Darian Kinnard:

Johnson has had quite the ascension from Independence Community College, to being a situational player at Georgia, to now being the focal point of a defense at the D1 level. He posted some absurd numbers from the defensive end position, recording 70 tackles (18 for loss) and 12 sacks in his first time as a true three-down player. NFL teams wanted to see if those numbers would translate this week and Johnson did everything in his power to prove himself.

He was recently ranked 20th on Daniel Jeremiah’s Big Board 1.0, which was higher than most at the time. Now, you will be hard-pressed to find anyone keeping him out of their top 25 at this point. As for me, he lands as the number three edge rusher on my board and there is real potential that he worked his way into legitimate top-ten discussions.

Below is a quick little rundown of what he does well and what he will need to improve upon to succeed on Sundays:


Pass Rushing Moves: Johnson possesses a number of different moves. He frequents the bull rush more than the others, but still has an impressive swim move and shows a spin move from time to time that has linemen looking silly.

Athleticism: Perhaps the most impressive part of Johnson’s tape is his ability to get from the line of scrimmage to the sideline with ease when pursuing the ball. He routinely is shown chasing down running backs and making tackles upwards of ten yards off the line.

Playmaking: Sometimes players will put up impressive stat lines but they are actually pretty empty when you add context. This is not the case for Johnson. He has bona fide production all over film. He does well not only getting to the quarterback, but swiping at the ball every single time as well. This paid off a handful of times in 2021, including this impressive scoop and score late in the fourth quarter vs Clemson to put his team ahead:


Bend: Johnson stands at an impressive 6’4, 259 pounds, and as stated before, is an exceptional pass rusher. One thing that really sticks out when you dig deeper, though, is his tendency to play with a high pad level. He doesn’t always get the most out of his frame when coming around the edge.

Experience: Johnson played sparingly at Georgia after dominating the JUCO level. It wasn’t until he landed in Tallahassee that he was given the reigns as the main focus of a defense. He made the most of it, which is why he is firmly in day one discussion, but this can also be a concern as he has such little experience as an every down player.

Technique: His signature bull rush move often overpowered players at the college level, so much so that it made Jermaine sloppy at times with his form. Knowing that he can just barrel a lineman over, it is hard to blame him for not always executing the fundamentals. However, it will be imperative for him to become more consistent in that way at the next level.

Other 2022 NFL Draft Risers

Biggest Risers of the Week:

-Jermaine Johnson, DE, FSU
-Malik Willis, QB, Liberty
-Christian Watson, WR, NDSU
-Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama
-Cole Strange, OL, UT-Chattanooga
-Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College
-Devonte Wyatt, NT, Georgia
-Travis Jones, NT, UConn
-Jalen Pitre, DB, Baylor
-Kerby Joseph, DB, Illinois


-This crop of Edge Rushers for the 2022 NFL Draft has scouts gushing. There are a number of guys with prototypical builds, it is like they were made solely for rushing the passer. South Carolina’s Kingsley Enagbare measured a mind-blowing wingspan of 83 5/8”, which garnered a lot of buzz around the stadium. Arnold Ebeketie, Jermaine Johnson ll, and Dominique Robinson all recorded a wingspan exceeding 82”.

-The quarterback group is still as polarizing now as it was before the week began. It does seem as though Malik Willis is getting a lot of footing in the race for the QB1 spot in the 2022 NFL Draft, however. He broke Senior Bowl records with the highest air speed (75.7 mph) and highest average air speed (48.5 mph). The concerns still are aplenty when it comes to Willis’ mental processing capabilities but the numbers and the eye test both prove that he has an extremely lively arm.

-Kenny Pickett and Trey McBride have developed a great connection in Mobile. Matt Miller suggested that a team would be wise to try to pair the two together in the upcoming draft, and I love that idea. The Texans jump out the most to me. While they love the strides Davis Mills took down the stretch, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them fall in love with the more polished Kenny Pickett in the 2022 NFL Draft. McBride may not be there when the Texans get back on the clock at 37 but if he is, Houston could be where they set up shop for the next decade.

-A couple nose tackles are really making their presence felt this week, as well. Connecticut’s Travis Jones and Georgia’s Devonte Wyatt have been unblockable since arriving. With many scouts divided on Jordan Davis’ worth as a first round selection, Jones and Wyatt offer teams a chance to fill the 0-tech role later in the 2022 NFL Draft. Both figure to be immediate starters and wherever they ultimately get drafted, it likely won’t be high enough.

-Players like Christian Watson and Jalen Pitre have been favorites among the draft community for a while now. They have gone on to make those folks look very smart and are both earning high praise for their work ethic and high motors. Small school players like Cole Strange and Jalen Tolbert have also taken advantage of the spotlight, firmly planting themselves in top 50 talks.

Final Word:

A lot was learned this week, both positively and negatively. This was one of the biggest milestones for prospects in the draft cycle and players should feel proud of themselves for making it this far. Next up in the 2022 NFL Draft process will be the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, which quite possibly could be the final one in Indy. Even more scouts and players will be in attendance. March cannot get here soon enough!