Oregon Football’s Jackson Powers-Johnson: NFL All-Rookie Team, Instant Impact?

Oregon Football’s Jackson Powers-Johnson: NFL All-Rookie Team, Instant Impact?

Oregon Ducks’ football continues to dominate the sports pages with story after story regarding everything from high school recruits to transfer portal acquisitions to a transition to the Big Ten Conference to NFL draft picks. While coach Dan Lanning is rightfully associated with recruiting at an elevated level, he has also prepared many players for that next step to the NFL, including eight in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The headline from this group was the Denver Broncos’ 12th overall pick of former Ducks’ quarterback, Bo Nix. Next in the draft, the Las Vegas Raiders utilized their 44th pick of the draft to select Jackson Powers-Johnson. As he moves to the NFL from the college ranks, his challenge is to compete against some of the best defensive players in the league. However, he has many believing he is ready for the task. In fact, the NFL’s Chad Reuter has named Powers-Johnson as a starting offensive lineman on his projected all-rookie team.

Oct 21, 2023; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson (58) signals against the Washington

Oct 21, 2023; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson (58) signals against the Washington State Cougars in the 4th quarter at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Craig Strobeck-USA TODAY Sports / Craig Strobeck-USA TODAY Sports

This versatile big-man (6-foot-3 and 320-pounds) has played both guard positions on the offensive line and finished his career as the starting center for the Ducks. He was a unanimous All-American, Sporting News All-America first team, CBS Sports All-American first team, Sports Illustrated All-America first team, Pro Football Focus (PFF) All-America first team…and the list goes on. His year was complete when he was awarded the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s best center.

Reuter also noted a comparison to All-Rookie selections in the past.

“Look for Powers-Johnson to be an All-Rookie pick much like past second-round interior offensive linemen Creed Humphrey (Chiefs,2021), O’Cyrus Torrence (Bills, 2023) and Steve Avila (Rams, 2023). Powers-Johnson starred at center for Oregon last fall but played both guard spots during his career, displaying excellent use of leverage and short-area agility to create blocking angles. Whoever starts at quarterback for the Raiders this year will appreciate the rookie’s efforts.”

Reuter highlighted Powers-Johnson’s outstanding play at center on an offensive line that led the nation in the fewest sacks allowed (5) and helped an offense that finished the year second in yards per game (531.4 ypg). Powers-Johnson also led all FBS centers in PFF’s pass-blocking grade (91.3), run-blocking grade (84.2), and overall grade (83.9). Even more impressive, Powers-Johnson logged 829 snaps in 2023 and did not give up a single sack or hit and just one quarterback hurry over the entire year.

If Powers-Johnson earns his way onto the NFL’s All-Rookie team in 2024 he stands to join a host of recent Ducks also selected for this honor, including Justin Herbert, Penei Sewell, Jevon Holland and Kayvon Thibodeaux.

Dec 3, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) is congratulated by fans af

Dec 3, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) is congratulated by fans after defeating the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Ducks’ fans have much to cheer about as they watch Lanning continue to build championship teams and develop all-star players who represent Oregon in the NFL.

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