Being under the radar is nothing new for Tyler Johnson who was a lightly recruited 3 Star athlete who only had 5 scholarship offers from the likes of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Notre Dame and Iowa State. Chosing to stay home and play for the Gophers Johnson exploded during his junior season catching 78 passes for 1,169 yards and 12 touchdowns. Now entering his senior season Tyler Johnson is looking to build off of those numbers and cement his spot as one of the top receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft.
What Tyler Johnson Does Well
Most talented receivers in college win off of athletic ability and scheme but that isn’t necessarily true for Johnson who is a polished route runner who utilizes his athletic traits to set up the defensive back and create his own separation. Johnson has good quickness and body control that allow him to make sharp cuts at full speed without having to break down. This prevents the defensive back from being tipped off to his routes and allows Johnson and extra step. Using leverage and even some body leans Johnson is able to get the defender to turn a certain way and then burst forward to an open space. Johnson even has an understanding of how to set cornerbacks up for double moves selling hooks or slants early in the game and then using a double move later on for big gains.
Concerns about Tyler Johnson
While Tyler Johnson is a sudden athlete who can make quick moves in and out of breaks to create separation he does lack good long speed. Now this isn’t the end all be all, but there are times when he’s trying to work his way downfield and if the cornerback is able to get some type of a jam on him he struggles to get past the defender and can be slowed down. There is also a concern about Johnson’s hands as he tends to drop too many passes. Some of these may be concentration drops which can be cleaned up. But against Iowa Johnson had three drops where the ball was in his hands and he wasn’t able to squeeze the ball and when the defender made contact with him the ball fell to the ground.
Overall there are many things that Tyler Johnson does very well that has him in consideration to be one of the top receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft. Not only does he have good size at 6’2 with good body control to go up and get the ball but he has the quickness and route running acumen to set up defenders and get himself open. If Johnson is able to cut back on the drops there is no doubt in my mind he can be a first round pick. Johnson has the ability to develop into a teams number one receiver and have plenty of success in the NFL.