A high school receiver who stood 6’5 200lb and could move it should be no surprise that Collin Johnson received a ton of interest from the whose who of colleges. Living in California Johnson got offered by every Pac 12 school but several high profile Big 10 schools offered him along with Alabama and TCU before he chose Texas. And after two productive years Collin Johnson could have left for the NFL Draft but chose to come back to Texas to a team poised to challenge for the Big 12 Championship. As Johnson enters his final season with the Longhorns we highlight his traits and what his NFL outlook could be.
Where Johnson Wins
With good size and above average speed Johnson has been a weapon down the field for Texas as he’s average over 14 yards per play. Even when Johnson isn’t able to get past the defender with speed he is able to make plays with this size and leaping ability that allow him to go up and win contested catches and even over the defenders. Even on short to intermediate routes Johnson has shown the body control to adjust to off target throws making tough catches with his hands outside of his frame. Quarterbacks love those big targets that allow them to just throw the ball up if they need to and Johnson is that type of receiver.
Johnson may be big and have some solid speed but he’s not overly quick or sudden and often has to build up his speed. That works downfield but on shorter routes he struggles to get separation and hasn’t fully mastered the nuances of getting consistent leverage or even setting his routes up to give him just a little space. Johnson will likely never be a great route runner but he could stand to learn some of the tricks of the trade from a receiver like DeAndre Hopkins who is able to win at a high level without elite speed and quickness.
Johnson could have easily declared for the 2019 NFL Draft and been drafted. However we’ve seen over the last few years that the bigger downfield receivers have gone later than in previous years. Hakeem Butler was thought to be a potential first round pick but lasted till the start of the 4th round. If Johnson is able to show that he has enough agility and can grow as a route runner than he should be a lock for a Day 2 pick. But Texas offense doesn’t really give him much of an opportunity for that. That being said Johnson has the traits to be a starter receiver in the league and fill out a good role as a complementary piece.