Former Minnesota wide receiver Tyler Johnson had a pretty turbulent 2020 NFL draft experience. Despite being one of the most productive playmakers in the nation, Johnson didn’t participate in any of the post-season draft events and became a largely forgotten man. It’s part of the reason why he fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fifth round.
But that’s all ancient history now, and Johnson has a chance to greatly outplay his draft slotting. In fact, Johnson was recently ranked among this year’s rookies with a strong chance to be his team’s surprising gem.
Johnson isn’t the biggest or fastest target. He just gets open and catches the football. Over the last two seasons, the two-time first-team All-Big Ten performer caught 164 passes for 2,487 yards and 25 touchdowns.
The rookie should immediately take over the slot.
Johnson scored 25 touchdowns over his final two seasons with the Golden Gophers, including 13 last year. He totaled 86 catches for 1,318 yards.
The biggest knock against Johnson was his speed (or lack of it). Without a verified 40-time, teams were obviously hesitant to pull the trigger on him in the early rounds. But one thing is for sure: Johnson is a playmaker, and now that he’s part of a receiving corps that already features Mike Evans and Chris Godwin (not to mention Rob Gronkowski), the sky’s the limit. It won’t hurt that Tom Brady will be throwing passes to him, either.