Wesley Johnson drafted by Steelers in 5th round

Vanderbilt offensive lineman Wesley Johnson was selected in the fifth round by the Pittsburgh Steelers Saturday. He was the No. 173rd overall pick of the NFL Draft.

Johnson, a fifth-year senior from Nashville, becomes the second standout off Vanderbilt’s 9-4 2013 squad taken in the draft. All-America wide receiver Jordan Matthews was selected in the second round No. 42 overall by Philadelphia.

Johnson, who started the most games of any player in Commodore history, is the fourth Vanderbilt offensive lineman taken in the NFL Draft in the last seven years, joining Ryan Seymour (Seattle, 2013), Thomas Welch (New England, 2010) and Chris Williams (Chicago, 2008).

Johnson is the first Commodore selected by Pittsburgh since linebacker Ed Smith was taken in the 13th round of the 1979 left.

As a senior co-captain in 2013, Johnson earned All-SEC recognition from the Associated Press and league head coaches. A preseason candidate for the Rotary Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy entering his final season, Johnson set a Vanderbilt record with 51 consecutive starts. The streak also marked the longest streak in the SEC.

Johnson, a product of Nashville’s Montgomery Bell Academy, is one of the SEC’s most versatile linemen, having played left and right tackle, right guard and center during his four-year career.

As a senior, he started every game at left tackle, earning consideration for the SEC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy. Johnson was credited with 56 knockdown blocks and 25 intimidation blocks during the 2013 season.

A superb pass protector, Johnson allowed just two quarterback sacks during his junior and senior seasons. He also didn’t receive a holding penalty until his final season.

Johnson also earned the SEC’s Offensive Lineman of the Week recognition after four performances during his career, the most honors ever by a Vanderbilt player. As a senior, he received the honor for his effort in Vanderbilt’s victory over Georgia.

Johnson also earned Freshman All-SEC and Freshman All-America honors after the 2010 season.

Johnson completed his undergraduate degree in history last December.