Missouri State DL Eric Johnson didn't get a combine invite, but has a busy month of visits after a strong showing at Senior Bowl. Top-30 visits already and upcoming with Saints, Lions, Chargers, Colts, Packers, Bengals, plus Bears' local workout this week (from Plainfield).— Greg Auman (@gregauman) April 5, 2022
The 6’4”, 299 pound defensive lineman (with 34 1/4” arms) recorded 43 tackles (19 solo), 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 5 QB hits, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, 3 pass breakups, and 3 blocked field goal kicks during 12 starts in 2021—as he was awarded All-MVFC 2nd-Team honors. He played in a school record of 55 consecutive games as a 5-year starter.
He also participated in this year’s Senior Bowl, which is a box the Colts routinely like to check in their pre-draft evaluation process among their coveted prospects.
Here’s what they’re saying on Johnson:
Eric Johnson (DT, Missouri State) has been a winner this week. Has not looked out of place one bit. Really like his balance through contact.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) February 2, 2022
Impressed at NFLPA practices/game. Got on a plane and is doing the same in Mobile. 6043, 302, 34 3/4" arms. https://t.co/7xhxIl5KqY
PRO-DAY SLEEPER ALERT Missouri State’s Eric Johnson (6042, 299, 83 1/4 wing), ran average 4.84/4.86 on three different NFL scout ⏱. Only DTs at Combine who ran faster were Georgia first round locks Devonte Wyatt (4.77) and Jordan Davis (4.78). Don’t sleep on @TheCreature93! pic.twitter.com/6u7pbV2dKp— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 25, 2022
Missouri State defensive lineman Eric Johnson has looked like he belongs early on. Dude is long, explosive, and packs a lot of power in his punches.#SeniorBowl— Ian Cummings (@ian_cummings_9) February 2, 2022
Eric Johnson of Missouri State with the spin move vs a lunging blocker during #seniorbowl practice. Sells it inside, then spins back to his gap.— DLineVids (@dlinevids1) February 3, 2022
If they reach, you teach. It all starts with having a pass rush plan! #passrush #nfldraft pic.twitter.com/ILcBiPG0Iv
Missouri State's Eric Johnson doing the dirty work to keep the second level clean. pic.twitter.com/tdLiWQsMPC— Cory (@realcorykinnan) February 2, 2022
He flashed in day-one, and here he is day-two. Missouri State's Eric Johnson's length, lever, and drive is really standing out. pic.twitter.com/Z2zYx9okRM— Cory (@realcorykinnan) February 3, 2022
Very impressed with Missouri State DT Eric Johnson, who dominated all last week at the @NFLPABowl before getting the invite up to the @seniorbowl.— John “Winter Soldier” Vogel (@DraftVogel) February 5, 2022
I’m very interested to see what he does today in action in Mobile. Love his dip and low center of gravity (6043/302). pic.twitter.com/1lIJ4aX5tx
Former Missouri State DL Eric Johnson is at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl this week in Pasadena. No doubt he's about to block all the field goals.— Wyatt Wheeler (@WyattWheeler_NL) January 25, 2022
It'll be on NFL Network on Saturday.
Missouri State DL Eric Johnson is a late-round sleeper I like for the #Bears, and not just because he’s from my hometown!— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) January 30, 2022
The Plainfield native has legit burst and great length. After dominating at the NFLPA Bowl, he’s going to the @seniorbowl this week. pic.twitter.com/i8UuFbXFyx
Keep an eye on DT Eric Johnson out of Missouri State. He was a Senior Bowl standout. The dude has juice and a high motor does a good job of keeping eyes up while engaged to read the play. Wouldn't mind seeing him play at Arrowhead on Sundays at all. https://t.co/qsu8wFuRCR— Rocky Magaña (@RockyMagana) February 23, 2022
Of course, the Colts could look to reinforce their defensive line depth as rotational backup Taylor Stallworth just signed with the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency.
With his length, high motor, strength, and exceptional pad level (with some pass rushing moves at his disposal), it’s not hard to see why the Colts have genuine interest in Johnson as a developmental backup interior defensive lineman with some upside.