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Possible Pick: Jackson Powers-Johnson brings fight at center


Editor's Note: The 2024 NFL Draft is fastly approaching at the end of April, and the draft process is in full swing as the Dallas Cowboys and other teams work their boards to see who would be good fits at the next level. The staff at will provide Possible Picks before the draft to provide context on potential Cowboys targets when they hit the clock. We start with Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson.

  • Name: Jackson Powers-Johnson
  • Position: Center
  • College: Oregon
  • Height/Weight: 6-3 / 334 (verified at Senior Bowl)
  • Did You Know? Powers-Johnson not only played four of the five offensive line positions in his three seasons with Oregon, but he also started at defensive tackle for the Ducks in the 2021 Alamo Bowl after the transfer portal and draft opt-outs made the position group thin. He recorded two tackles.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The versatility first jumped out to scouts when looking at Powers-Johnson, but once you see that his best fit is at center for the next level, you see the athleticism, power and demeanor that teams covet at the center position. His athleticism allows him to get into the second level in the run game and out in the flats in the screen game, where he paved the way multiple times for Oregon running back Bucky Irving in 2023. While his short wingspan may limit him at the next level to a certain extent, his power drives up from his legs into his initial punch which makes life difficult for interior defensive linemen. There may be a learning moment or two early on with his tendency to throw all of his power into a defender, causing him to fall off balance, but refined technique will allow him to reach a high ceiling in the NFL.

Where He's Projected

While Powers-Johnson's initial stock saw him as a potential late second round option that the Cowboys could jump on with their No. 56 selection, his hype going into the Senior Bowl reached a meteoric level following the body of work that he put on the table in 2023 for Oregon that was manifested when he proved to be one of the top linemen in attendance in Mobile. Now, the Cowboys would have to feel like they hit the lottery if he fell to No. 24, but mock drafts have seen him go as far down as No. 26 in recent weeks. Jacksonville (No. 17), Cincinnati (No. 18) and Miami (No. 21) jump out as other center-needy teams, but free agent fills for those teams could allow Powers-Johnson to be on the board when Dallas is on the clock.

How He Helps The Cowboys

With Tyler Biadasz hitting free agency, the Cowboys have a decision to make in the coming weeks on whether to re-sign him long-term, move onto Brock Hoffman or T.J. Bass starting at center, or drafting a center that can plug and play. Jackson Powers-Johnson would be just that if the team doesn't bring back Biadasz, as he could start day one and bring that tenacity and demeanor that has been needed in the interior for the Cowboys – specifically in the run game. Furthermore, it's a rookie contract that would play out for five years for one of the draft's top center prospects of the last decade-plus.

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