Senior Bowl practices are now in the books, and NFL teams have a lot to discuss in the front office. Dozens of the best football players in the nation met in Mobile Alabama and participated in three gritty practices ahead of the Senior Bowl game. Mike Tomlin and Omar Khan were in attendance for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After going back and watching the Senior Bowl film, there were a handful of players who were the clear winners of the week. One of those players is Oregon center, Jackson Powers-Johnson, and his highlight tape from Senior Bowl Week already has Steelers fans salivating at the opportunity to draft him this April.
Jackson Powers-Johnson was a winner even before he took the field for the first practice in Mobile. Upon Senior Bowl weigh-ins, Powers-Johnson dropped jaws coming in at just over 6'3'' and weighing a whopping 334 pounds. His impressive frame and notable wingspan for a center (79 inches) immediately suggested that he has position flexibility and could double as a guard at the next level.
Once he took the field for practices, scouts were immediately enthralled with what he was able to do. The name "Powers" fits him perfectly, as he was able to bully some of the nation's best interior defenders. Powers-Johnson held his ground better than anybody during the first two days of practice before taking the final practice off.
Here are a few of his highlights from Senior Bowl practices from credentialed media members on hand in Mobile.
His dominant performance during Senior Bowl week reminded me of what former Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey was able to do during his time in Mobile in 2021. Now Humphrey is an All-Pro NFL player early in his career.
Jackson Powers-Johnson is in play for Steelers in the NFL Draft
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had a glaring need for a center since the retirement of Maurkice Pouncey following the 2020 season. Over the past three years, they experimented with an undersized player like Kendrick Green before turning to an underwhelming free agent signing in Mason Cole.
Neither option proved to be effective. In fact, both Green and Cole have had downright miserable seasons. Along with offensive tackle and cornerback, center is among the top needs for the Pittsburgh Steelers to address during the 2024 offseason.
Jackson Powers-Johnson is everything this team has been searching for at the position and more. What's most encouraging about his game is that Mike Tomlin won't have to question for a second his Powers-Johnson's ability to hold up at the point of attack. He's as powerful of a center as they come.
Unfortunately, because of his utter dominance during Senior Bowl practices, Powers-Johnson's stock is through the roof. It was originally thought that Pittsburgh might be able to select him in the second round. That option is now off the table, and his position flexibility to be an excellent NFL guard is going to drive his stock up even further.
Regardless, a player of Jackson Powers-Johnson's caliber is probably worth spending a first-round pick on in the 2024 NFL Draft; that is, as long as you don't mind having another "JPJ" on the team.