Mike Johnson has the tools to be a staple on the offensive line. (source: YardBarker)

Best Case Scenario: Falcons' Offensive Lineman Mike Johnson

(source: YardBarker)

Part One: Shann Schillinger
Part Two: Kerry Meier
Part Three: Dominique Franks
Part Four: Joe Hawley

Part five of our seven-part series detailing the best case scenarios for the Atlanta Falcons’ 2010 draft picks continues with their third round draft pick: Offensive Lineman Mike Johnson.

Using data from the last 10 NFL drafts (2000-2009), I focused on offensive lineman drafted in the third round to give us an idea of what Johnson’s ideal rookie season might look like. What have players, who play his position and were drafted in the same round, done in the last 10 years?

Hit the jump for the comparison.

Top rookie campaigns for third round Offensive Lineman since 2000.

Player Team Year Stats
Louis Vasquez Chargers 2009 Started 14 games for a 13-3 team.
Nick Hardwick Chargers 2004 Started 14 games for a 12-4 team.
Richie Incognito Rams 2006 Started 16 games for an 8-8 team.
Wade Smith Dolphins 2003 Started 16 games for a 10-6 team.
John St. Clair Rams 2002 Started 16 games for a 7-9 team.

Okay, maybe we don’t want him to channel Incognito’s post-rookie career, but the rest of the options are sound. I really liked this pick and think Johnson could be a big-time contributor this year and a starter in 2011. If he can play like any of the guys on this list, that timetable could be moved up.

Will Johnson start any games this year? Will he be used in a rotation with the other starters? Was this pick made solely looking towards next year?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments or continue the conversation on Twitter.

More on Blogging Dirty

I was hoping for defensive end but got an offensive lineman instead.

Mike Johnson’s Falcons’ jersey

My thoughts on Johnson after the draft. P.S. I loved him!

Related Links

Dawson Devitt’s Bird Cage discussion about Johnson.

D. Orlando Ledbetters’ Q & A with Johnson.

The Falcons’ official site Quick Hits.

The Falcoholic’s Player Profile of Johnson.

J. Mike’s post-draft profile of Johnson.

Tags: Alabama Atlanta Falcons John St. Clair Louis Vasquez Mike Johnson Nick Hardwick Richie Incognito Wade Smith

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