Routes - Smooth and technically refined. Fluid in and out of breaks and he is a terrific route salesman. The concern is can he separate at the next level given his lack of burst. Love his route pace, timing and how he attacks leverage to get open.
Hands - Hands are soft, natural and reliable. Routinely plucks the football with arms extended and secures it outside his frame. He does have an occasional concentration drop that doesn’t make sense given how smooth he is catching the football.
Ball Skills - Wonderful tracking skills and he makes terrific adjustments. Rescues his share of off-target throws. Body control and hands lead to success in contested situations. Shows his hands late to not tip the balls arrival.
YAC Ability - Limited burst isn’t ideal but he can still make plays after the catch. Transitions to a runner rapidly and makes quick decisions with the ball in his hands. Doesn’t offer much twitch, wiggle or elusiveness but he will always get the available yards.
Release - Needs to be more urgent working into his stem. Will invite contact and he isn’t that effective clearing it. Gradual accelerator. Does a great job of working angles in his release to set up leverage.
Play Speed - Lacking. Everything is gradual and needs to happen faster. Is reliant on technique to uncover and he won’t be able to win many foot races. Separation quickness is lacking. Won’t challenge pursuit angles as a runner.
Blocking - Reliable and committed blocker. Focuses on fitting his hands and executing with good leverage. Doesn’t have great play strength which could be a challenge for him blocking at the next level but his effort is consistent.
Play Strength - Modest play strength and he isn’t going to bully anyone. Holds his own at the catch point to maintain his spot and work for the football. Competes as a blocker and ball carrier with physicality but he won’t be confused as powerful.
Versatility - Pedestrian play strength and athletic ability present restrictions in any role. Could profile as a big slot but he lacks the desired juice for that role. Will likely be most effective in a possession role in 3/4 receiver sets.
BEST TRAIT - Route Running
WORST TRAIT - Speed
RED FLAGS - None
Johnson has been a highly productive weapon at Fresno State across multiple seasons and his route running prowess, hands, ball skills and length makes him and appealing NFL prospect. With that said, Johnson is lacking in terms of quickness, speed and play strengths which casts a wet blanket over his projection. Johnson is likely to provide quality depth, contributing in a possession role as a team’s No. 3/4 option.
Round Grade - Late Day 3