Keeping our running tab of meetings with prospects rolling along, the Pittsburgh Steelers spent some time getting to know Toledo DL Desjuan Johnson at this year’s Shrine Bowl. According to Draft Network’s Justin Melo, the Steelers were one of many teams Johnson met with last month.
Johnson had a steady and consistent career, recording ten sacks over the last two seasons, 4.5 in 2021 and 5.5 in 2022. But he was a force against the run with 12.5 tackles for loss as a junior and 16.5 as a senior for the Rockets.
According to our Joe Clark, in attendance for the Shrine Bowl, Johnson had a strong week and impressed. Though he lacks great size at 6’3, 267 pounds (his Shrine Bowl weigh-in) as an interior defensive lineman, he’s a worthwhile flier in the seventh round. Pittsburgh has a pair of those picks this year. According to Mock Draft Database, he’s currently viewed as a seventh round selection. Assistant GM Andy Weidl’s Eagles teams routinely took late-round fliers on pass rushers and Johnson could be one of those guys.
Like many other players in this class, one knock against Johnson is age. He began his college career in 2018, creating concern his game and ceiling is pretty maxed out. Still, Pittsburgh has a real need to add to the interior defensive line with Tyson Alualu, Larry Ogunjobi, and Chris Wormley all free agents. Wormley is also coming off a torn ACL suffered in Week 14, casting doubt on his Week One availability next year.
The Toledo school site has a nice feature piece on Johnson that’s worth checking out by clicking the link here. Our Josh Carney also wrote an excellent article after interviewing him at the Shrine Bowl.
We’ll try to have a full profile on Johnson before late April’s draft.