"There are kids in this group of players that will give Scotland its greatest chance of long-term success.
"You've got to put your marker down somewhere. I said it once with Wales and it was the same thing."
The interim head coach has promised to use the autumn series of internationals to experiment with new systems and players.
Interview - Scotland interim head coach Scott Johnson
"You can keep doing the same thing and get the same results. We need greater depth, we need greater strength in our squad," he said.
"Kids need a chance. Put the marker down. I'm happy to sign it and we'll talk about it in a few years.
"I may not be here to see it all but, watching somewhere else, I will take great pride in the fact that I was part of the initial find of a young group of players."
Johnson was talking on the 10th anniversary of the 2003 World Cup final in which he believes the Wales side he helped coach should have taken part.
Not only did England knock out Wales in the 2003 quarter-finals, but they went on to defeat Australia in the Sydney final.
"I was commentating on the game after being knocked out by the champions in a game we should have won," recalled the 51-year-old.
Johnson will move back to a director of rugby role once Vern Cotter is free of his contract with Clermont next summer and has been liaising with the New Zealander as they try to unearth new talent for Scotland.
Lamont fondly recalls Scotland's 9-6 win over Australia in Newcastle
Asked if the emerging generation of players could one day win a World Cup, Johnson replied: "They'll definitely compete.
"Winning has a myriad of things that need to actually enact. Some of it is a bit of luck, some is referee decisions. Competing, that's up to you. We'll compete."
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.