Vanderbilt offensive tackle Wesley Johnson has the potential for a 12-year NFL career, Commodores coach James Franklin said Wednesday. The senior left tackle is among the Commodores' top NFL prospects, along with wide receiver Jordan Matthews and cornerback Andre Hal.
"If he stays healthy, he's got a chance to play for 12 years in the NFL. I truly believe that, because of his demeanor -- he's got all the things you're looking for. The one thing he doesn't have right now is just the raw mass. I think that's going to come over time. You've got to remember, Wes was 235 pounds when he arrived here on campus. But he's got the length, the intelligence, he's gritty, he's strong. He's got to put a little more size on."
Johnson (6-foot-5, 295 pounds) didn't draw the first holding penalty of his career as a four-year starter until midway through his final season. He played one of his best games of the season in an upset win over Georgia, in which he earned SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors, was credited with 12 knockdown blocks, and helped spring two rushing touchdowns (video).
He has started at four of five positions on the offensive line in his Vandy career, and Franklin believes that versatility will serve him well in making an NFL team, as well.
"It really depends on the system and what people are looking for," Franklin said. "... I think the flexibility he provides, the ability to play tackle, or guard or center, would be very valuable. You look at him, and you understand the whole package of what he brings to the table. People are going to realize what a great opportunity a team will have to have him on their roster."