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Ducks C Jackson Powers-Johnson Goes 44th to Raiders

Jackson Powes-Johnson performs a drill at the NFL Scouting Combine
© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


One of the most underrated aspects in all of football is the impact of a truly great center. Jason Kelce has been one of if not the best center of the past decade and the entire Eagles' O-Line benefitted from it. What made Kelce so great? It was his freakish speed, athleticism and incredible football IQ, all of which new Raiders' center Jackson-Powers Johnson has in spades.

Regarded by many as the top center of the class, JPJ was a unanimous All-American in 2023, becoming the fifth Oregon player ever to receive the honor. He also took home the Rimington Award to boot. There's a reason why he was the second Duck off the board last night and the highest-drafted center in Oregon history. This dude is a freak, plain and simple. He's an absolute unit, built like an oil barrel at 6-foot-3, 330 pounds. With 30 reps on the bench press and a 32-inch vertical jump, he is a well-proportioned athlete who features both the upper body strength to lock on and grip his man, as well as the leg drive to maintain his base as a pass blocker or drive helpless defenders into the ground like a steamroller. He wasn't the highest overall graded Center by PFF last season for nothing. His record of 1 pressure allowed and no sacks allowed in 471 pass-blocking snaps in 2023 speaks for itself.

Even though he didn't record any times in speed or agility testing like the 40-yard dash or short shuttle, his speed is evident on the field. How many 330-pound centers do you see keep stride for stride with an athlete like Bo Nix for 40+ yards? JPJ, that’s who. His game intelligence is also evident in his tape, as JPJ is active in scanning the field pre-snap and calling out defensive adjustments or blitzes to his unit. His versatility is another positive aspect, as he started most of 2022 as a right guard and had numerous snaps at left guard throughout his three-year college career.

Despite not missing any major time in college, JPJ reportedly has knee problems, as people usually don’t wear knee braces for show. JPJ also aggravated a pre-existing hamstring injury at Senior Bowl practice and has a history of concussions.

Regardless, his tape is arguably the best out of any lineman in the class; whether it's tackle, guard, center, or even D-Line. If he can stay healthy, the Raiders either have a beast center or guard who can dominate on power schemes where he has to pull and exit. Or they have a beast who double teams where he can choose between pancaking the D-Lineman in his face (as evidenced by his 37 knockdown blocks in 2023) and moving up to the 2nd level to punish the linebacker. Some guys just have that aura around them with an attitude and skill to match; JPJ is one of those guys. Combined with the Brock Bowers selection last night, Las Vegas is making some heavy moves to compete for the playoffs in 2024.


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