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Rookie Reflection: Rod Johnson settling into Browns OL

Posted Jul 12, 2017

Johnson was the 160th overall pick in the NFL Draft

Over the next two weeks, we’re breaking down the Browns’ 2017 NFL Draft class — from Myles Garrett to Matthew Dayes — and how they might contribute next fall.

Rod Johnson, drafted by the Browns with the 160th overall pick, was a force at Florida State and finds himself among several candidates vying for the team’s right tackle job.

How was his spring?

Johnson, whom the Browns traded up for in the fifth round, spent this past spring playing left tackle, where he excelled for three seasons at Florida State.

“You are looking at a 6-7, 300-pound tackle with the movement skills to play on the left side. We will start him off there,” Browns coach Hue Jackson said in May. “He's played his entire career there at Florida State. We'll see where he goes from that point.”

But Johnson, by his own admission, remains a work in progress as he learns the finer points of succeeding at the next level.

“I always come to work with the mentality that there is always room for improvement, even if it is 2 percent better than what I came into it with,” Johnson said. “Everything from my pad level being lower to being even better in pass blocking, developmental things that help fine tune my technique and all of those things.”

They said it:

“All I need to do is get my foot in the door. I got that, so being drafted where I was, just probably adding fuel to the fire. It’s motivation for all the teams who slept on me and passed on me so I just have to prove that I was one of the top caliber tackles in the draft.”

— Johnson on the post-NFL Draft chip on his shoulder

What to expect in the fall?

At 6-foot-7 and 311 pounds, Johnson certainly looks the part. Considered a talented, but raw, prospect by some NFL Draft evaluators, he adds depth to an offensive line that includes Thomas, Joel Bitonio, Kevin Zeitler, JC Tretter, Shon Coleman, Cameron Erving, Spencer Drango and Austin Reiter.

Johnson is also poised to compete for the Browns right tackle job, which saw Shon Coleman and Cameron Erving split reps during offseason workouts.

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