September 29, 2016

Two Pack: Johnson and Moses

Mike Reiss got me thinking this week – Ty Warren is shaping up to be the next major Patriots free agent, as his deal expires after the 2008 season. This made me see the Patriots interest in defensive ends in this draft – our rumor board links the Pats with no fewer than seven first-day DE’s – in an entirely different way. Neither of these players has been rumored to be on the Pats radar, which of course means nothing. So here’s a two-pack of Georgia defensive ends that seem sure to be chosen on day one of the draft.

Charles Johnson, DE, Georgia
Junior, 6’2, 270, 4.84
Ranked 34th overall on BSMW Mock Board (as of 3/31)

Johnson comes out early after a good junior season, when he played opposite Quentin Moses on the Georgia defensive line. The profiles describe a defensive end that combines strength and quickness, offering a strong anchor in run defense and a dogged rush against the pass. Still developing his game as he enters the draft after only one season as a starter. His upper body strength is seen as an edge, but he’s kind of short and is said to lack the oft-elusive ‘explosiveness’. There was a real split on his makeup – some profiles saw him as a hard worker and overachiever; others said his effort is sometimes questionable. The lack of an extended track record of productivity is a concern – several profiles wondered how much of his production was due to being paired up with Moses. Yet there he is, higher on most boards than Moses himself, and there seems to be consensus he will deliver as a solid, if unspectacular, NFL starter. The mocks see Johnson as a late first round, early second round pick. A couple suggest he could go as high as Denver’s first round pick (#21).

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For subscribers: ESPN’s Scouts, Inc.

Quentin Moses, DE, Georgia
Senior, 6’5, 261, 4.82
Ranked 56th overall on BSMW Mock Board (as of 3/31)

Moses apparently had a great junior season but tailed off in 06, as teams focused their attention on him. The profiles say he’s a fluid, athletic type, a pass-rushing presence on the edge with his initial burst and top-end closing speed. Can make plays in run game but is much better in space than locked in the scrum. Moses is tall and lean, and the profiles say he’ll need to add bulk to stay at end (he has the frame to do so, it’s thought). Most agree he may be a better fit as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, and most think he has the athleticism to do it. At least one profile drew a comparison to Jason Taylor, which should catch the attention of Taylor-fatigued Patriots fans. Oddly enough, there’s been no report of contact between the Pats and Moses. The mocks see him slotted in the middle of the second round, though like his teammate, he has at least one champion pimping him for first round (coincidentally, at #24).

NCAA stats
NFL Draft Scout
NFL Draft Countdown
Draft Stock
Consensus Draft

For subscribers: ESPN’s Scouts, Inc.

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