Will Injury Concerns Push Jackson Powers-Johnson to the Miami Dolphins — in Round 2?

Oregon guard Jackson Powers-Johnson seemed like a Round 1 lock just a few months ago. But will injury concerns scare off the Miami Dolphins?

Just three months ago, Oregon’s Jackson Powers-Johnson was one of the hottest names in the 2024 NFL Draft and a natural fit for the Miami Dolphins at 21.

But that perception has changed, and it seems that the outside world is catching up with the pros’ evaluation of Powers-Johnson as a likely Day 2 pick.

Why? Hard to say for sure, but his medicals certainly seem to be playing a role.

Miami Dolphins Draft Preview: Get To Know Oregon iOL Jackson Powers-Johnson

The Basics

  • Age: 21
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 320 pounds
  • Current Year: Junior
  • PFN Big Board Ranking: No. 20 overall, No. 1 iOL

Why He’s a First-Round Talent

Well, he might not be.

Powers-Johnson was seen as a real option for linemen-needy teams drafting in the second half of R1 because he was arguably the nation’s best interior lineman in the country in 2023.

JPJ, as just a 20-year-old, won the Rimington Trophy winner as the best center in college football in 2023. He was also a unanimous All-American, a first-team All-Pac-12 pick, and a Joe Morris Award finalist.

Powers-Johnson, per his Ducks bio, “allowed just one pressure and zero sacks in 471 pass-blocking opportunities, leading an Oregon offensive line that led the nation with just five sacks allowed for the second year in a row.”

But he also added injuries to a body that, per The Athletic’s Dane Brugler, has suffered multiple concussions. Health concerns may be adversely impacting his stock.

How He Would Fit

While Powers-Johnson is willing to play guard, it would be silly to draft him and not play him at center. So if the Dolphins take him at 21 (or more likely, 55), they would presumably move Aaron Brewer over a spot.

PFN draft analyst Ian Cummings writes the following in JPJ’s draft profile:

“He’s the best ‘pure center’ prospect on my rankings, slightly edging out players like West Virginia’s Zach Frazier and Georgia’s Sedrick Van Pran-Granger.

“For teams in need of a long-term starter at center, Powers-Johnson is worthy of early Day 2 capital — at the very least. He could ultimately sneak into Round 1 because of his talent, physicality, and positional scarcity.

“The 21-year-old already looks and feels like a high-level NFL starter at the fulcrum. His composite profile helped him win the Rimington Trophy in 2023, and that same profile should help him become an impact NFL starter early in his career.

“At 6’3″, 320 pounds, Powers-Johnson is an explosive and nimble athlete in both the lateral and vertical modes. What’s even more impressive is his power load at that size.”

Is the Dolphins’ Interest Real?

There’s a way for the Dolphins to take Powers-Johnson in a range that’s better value and pick up the third-round pick they lost to NFL punishment:

Trade back.

If that’s the way they decide to go, it’ll be because Powers-Johnson convinced them he’s the right fit during an NFL Combine meeting.

“Amazing team, amazing GM, amazing coach,” he said. “It was just a great time too. Something that really [stands] out about the Dolphins for me is just how young [Mike McDaniel] is. It’s someone I can relate to. It doesn’t matter how old you are. It just matters how good you are. He’s an amazing coach.”

Belt It Out

If the Dolphins draft JPJ, Tua Tagovailoa would have a backup singer. The draft prospect is in the gospel choir.

KEEP READING: Top iOL in the 2024 NFL Draft

Asked at the Combine who he sounds like, Powers-Johnson replied:

“This is a tough one,” he said. “Celine Dion or, like, Adele. I’m going to say that. But tenor-wise, maybe like Josh Turner or maybe George Strait. I give myself a lot of credit. I wasn’t that good.”

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