There are plenty of high expectations for the Oregon Ducks this year after a relatively disappointing 9-4 season. Not only did quarterback Justin Herbert spurn the NFL Draft but the Ducks finished with the 7th best recruiting class by both Rivals and 24/7 Sports. But often overlooked is the addition of Penn State Grad Transfer Juwan Johnson to this offense.
Johnson enjoyed a breakout season in 2017 with 54 catches for 701 yards and a touchdown as he complimented Daesean Hamilton and Saquan Barkley. However 2018 was a major disappointment as Johnson missed 5 games with a lower body injury and struggled to make an impact 352 yards receiving and a single touchdown.
Now with the Ducks, Johnson will be expected to come in and provide Herbert with a go to receiver since Dillon Mitchell left school early for the 2019 NFL Draft. Johnson has good size at 6’4 and 230lbs and he uses his size well to attack the ball in the air and win in contested catching situations.
While Herbert does show the ability to throw with good ball placement having a big receiver on the outside when the Ducks have mainly had smaller speed guys gives this offense another element. Johnson was able to go through spring practice and develop rapport with Herbert and hopefully have that bound where he can throw the ball up in Johnson’s direction and trust that he’ll be able to go and make a play.
Things are looking good for the Ducks as they enter the season as the favorites to win the Pac 12. The offense is a big reason for this. Herbert is a Heisman Candidate and potential top quarterback pick while the offensive line is one of the best and now they are adding a receiver like Johnson who has had success in a major conference.