Freddie Boston: DT Austin Johnson, Penn State
Round 1: DE Noah Spence
After strengthening the pass rush with Noah Spence on day one, the Packers turn to the deep pool of defensive linemen in the second round. Due to their being such an impressive group of talent at the position, finding an impact starter in the second round becomes that much easier.
And that’s what the Packers can do with Austin Johnson of Penn State. Interestingly, staff writer Ralph Mancini projected Johnson to Green Bay with his first-round pick. I have a second-ground grade on him and believe he could be there at No. 57 for the Packers. In such a case, they would have the opportunity to further bolster the front seven.
Johnson can be disruptive at nose tackle in Dom Capers’ defense. He can eat up blocks and help plug up running lanes. The Packers need big guys who can stop the run, and with Johnson on the defensive line next to Mike Daniels and Letroy Guion, the defense would be in a better position to do just that.
What’s also exciting with Johnson is his potential as an interior pass rusher. The Penn State product can help collapse the pocket from the inside, and first-rounder Spence can tee off on the quarterback off the edge. I can see a smile on Capers’ face.