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Paris Johnson Jr. Puts on Pro Day Show for Bears

By Gene Chamberlain,


With Bears brass in attendance, Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr. gave the kind of pro day effort to sway any skeptics.

There are pro day workouts and then there are pro day workouts.

Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr. reportedly lit it up as much as an offensive lineman possibly can during the Buckeyes' pro day on Wednesday, and the Bears were heavily represented seeing it up close.

It had to be big because he didn't even run the 40-yard dash or do some other tests, and still scouts and others were talking about his energy and physicality.

The Bears had a group in attendance that included coach Matt Eberflus, GM Ryan Poles and assistant GM Ian Cunningham.

The workout seemed to light up social media the way some of the signings during free agency did, if not more.

Johnson, who is 6-foot-6, 313 pounds, had been at the combine but didn't do much testing. He did do a nice 29 reps in the bench press at 225 pounds and was at 9-foot-2 in the broad jump then.

Although he had a nice pro day, he didn't run the 40 or test, but he did do all of the workout drills and excited scouts simply by doing this.

"I've been preparing for this pro day for 16 years," he told reporters at the event. "This is my first dream."

The workout and his attitude seemed in direct contrast to the workout Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter experienced when he showed up 9 pounds heavier for his pro day than he had weighed at the end of February at the combine.


The Bears contingent attending included Chris Morgan, their offensive line coach.

"I just had a great talk with the Bears offensive line coach, an amazing guy," Johnson told reporters.

He also talked with Matt Eberflus. Johnson knows Justin Fields well.

"I talked with Justin about four days ago, so I've been able to keep up with him," Johnson said. "To me, he's like a big brother to me.

"When I came out, was recruiting, he'd look after me. So my mom was really tight with his mom."

He thinks Fields would find him a bit different player than he was when he was a freshman and Fields was in his last year.

"To be able to play with him agin and to be able to protect him would be cool," Johnson said. "Except, he came in when I was still learning but now I'm here. I'm ready to go."

Bears scouts also so a strong effort from Buckeyes center Luke Wypler, regarded as one of the top three centers in the draft in most mocks.

Other Buckeyes who impressed were wide receiver Jaxon Smith Njigba and safety Tanner McCalister, the transfer from Oklahoma State. Njigba ran 4.48 seconds in the 40 while McCalister was down for 4.44, including an outstanding 1.6-second split on the first 10.

McCalister hadn't been invited to the combine but his 40 and also his 6.9-second effort in the three-cone drill will likely open up some eyes. He also did 22 reps in the bench at 225 pounds.

Twitter: BearDigest@BearsOnMaven

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