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Speed: 5.3

After he gains some traction, Johnson becomes a decently fast receiver. However, his initial burst isn’t fast enough to dust defensive with his speed.

Agility: 9

Agility is by far Johnson’s, best attribute. Throughout nearly every route, Johnson exhibits fluid motion along with the ability to change directions on the stop of a dime. He frequently gains significant separation from his defender while performing cuts on routes like slants and posts.

Blocking: 6.2

Tyler Johnson displays a great blocking technique and has the strength to drive cornerbacks backward to create rushing lanes. However, he could definitely improve his blocking recognition because he sometimes fails to pick the right defender to block.

Pass Catching: 7.1

Tyler is a fairly reliable pass catcher who does a good job of mitigating drops. He exhibits great concentration in the process of reeling the ball in and can haul in inaccurate passes. However, he tends to attempt to catch passes with his body too often which needs to be addressed at the next level.

Route Running: 7.8

Johnson is a flawless route runner who readily gains separation from his fluid, agile motion. He definitely improved as a route runner throughout the duration of last season.

Strength: 6.2

Johnson can out-muscle defenders and seal them off in order to haul in contested catches and has great hand strength. Before the catch, Tyler struggles to fend off press coverage but he can consistently carry defenders after the catch due to his leg strength.

Vertical Ability: 6.7 

At the top of his route, Tyler Johnson makes crisp cuts down the field to juke out defenders. As he gains traction, Johnson accelerations moderately fast, thus helping him gain more separation.

Run after Catch: 5.5 

He can be relied upon to frequently gain yardage after the catch due to his field vision but doesn’t gain significant yardage due to his lack of speed.

Catching in Traffic: 8.7

Tyler Johnson is one of the best-contested catchers in the Big Ten conference. His strong hands help him secure the ball and his long arms give him a large catch radius.

Big Play Ability: 5.8

He can pull off terrific contested catches on a regular basis but isn’t much of a threat after the catch.

Durability: 10

No known injuries.

Over the Middle: 7.4

Tyler Johnson is pretty effective over the middle on slants, drags, ins and posts. He isn’t afraid to work across the middle, even if the quarterback is inaccurate.

Toughness: 8.6

He isn’t afraid to do the grunt work, such as blocking on the edge or working across the middle.

Productivity: 7.1

Exhibited above-average production throughout his last two years in college football, and came close to elite production as a senior.

Character:

No off-field or character issues according to WhatsOnDraft

Size: 8

Johnson has prototypical height and weight, and his wingspan provides him with a great catch radius. 

Intangibles: 6.5

Pretty solid player but doesn’t have any wow factors. Although Johnson’s IQ enables him to find holes in zone coverage on a consistent basis.

Consistency: 8.2

Consistently improved as a receiver throughout his entire college career, both from film and statistical perspectives.

Strengths:

Tyler Johnson is one of the most underrated wide receivers in college football. While his initial burst isn’t the fastest, he is able to gain significant separation as a route runner. Throughout all of his routes, Johnson exhibits fluid, agile motion that can stun the majority of cornerbacks defending him in man coverage. Furthermore, Johnson’s football IQ allows him to often find holes in zone coverage. However, when Johnson fails to shed coverage, he is able to seal off defenders with his wide wingspan. Once Johnson is in position, he has great a stellar combination of concentration and hand strength necessary to haul in contested catches.

Even though Johnson doesn’t have significant first gear speed, he is a moderate vertical threat because of his acceleration and contested catchability. Consequently, he is effective at the intermediate level of the field and can be relied upon to move the chains. Speaking of intermediate catches, Johnson has the toughness necessary to be effective across the middle on routes like slants, ins, and posts. 

Yet the best aspect about Tyler Johnson is the fact that he improved immensely throughout the season. During his first game against South Dakota St., Johnson had a tendency to run too high and fail to gain separation. However as the season went on, he greatly improved his route running. In fact, he actually learned how to utilize his agility to beat defenders over the top more often.

Weaknesses:

Tyler Johnson is never going to blow NFL scouts away with his speed because he is one of the slower wideouts in college. His speed isn’t a liability but he’s not a speed demon who is a threat for a deep TD on any given play. Johnson also struggles with fending off physicality while he’s running routes, and can be pushed off his route in between breaks. Given that he will likely be played by bigger corners, he’s going to need to get stronger in order to get open in the NFL.

 

Due to his lack of relative speed and strength, Johnson isn’t the biggest threat for yards after the catch. If Johnson fails to get extensive separation from a defender, he will likely get tackled immediately after the catch at the next level. Another area of concern relating to Johnson’s receiving capability is his inconsistency. Throughout almost every game, he has a tendency to drop one or two easy catches or make a bad cut during a route. He also needs to do a better job of catching with his hands rather than using his body to haul in a catch.

Overall: 

Tyler Johnson is a big, tall wide receiver from the University of Minnesota. Throughout his career in Minneapolis, Tyler worked his way up through the depth chart, getting better every season. During this past season, Johnson has shown especially extensive improvement as a pass-catcher. In fact, Tyler Johnson was one of the most improved skill players in the NCAA during the 2019-2020 season. 

Even though he still has work to do in order to become a more complete wideout, Johnson has displayed a consistent ability to gain separation because of his fluid motion, agility, and fancy footwork. Right now, he is a solid possession receiver who has experience playing in the slot and on the outside. His large catch radius and contested-catch ability will make him a steal in the NFL Draft. He’s not going to be a speedy deep-threat, but his combination of route running and acceleration helps him be an effective weapon at the intermediate level of the field. Consequently, he is very effective at moving the chains on 3rd and long plays.

Comparison:

Michael Thomas

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