For the first time, an Eden Prairie High School alum is a first-round pick in the NFL Draft.
On Thursday, the New York Jets selected Jermaine Johnson II with the No. 26 overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas. Johnson graduated from EPHS in 2017.
Johnson was an all-metro standout for the Eagles’ defense. He started his collegiate career at Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas. After a year there, he spent time at Georgia before playing his last collegiate season in 2021 with Florida State, where he was the Atlantic Coast Conference’s defensive player of the year.
After a successful final season with the Seminoles, some draft pundits believed Johnson could go as high as the top 10 of this year’s draft. However, Johnson fell into the late part of the first round and was selected by the Jets, which acquired the pick from the Tennessee Titans.
Johnson was one of 21 players invited to attend this year’s draft.
He becomes the first player with ties to Eden Prairie to be taken in the NFL Draft since Antoine Winfield Jr. was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second round of the 2020 draft.
Johnson and Winfield are part of a recent surge of EP players being selected. Others include Carter Coughlin, Blake Cashman and Ryan Connelly. Cashman was taken by the Jets in the fifth round of the 2019 draft but was recently traded to the Houston Texans.