WR Tyler Johnson, Minnesota

6’2” – 205 lbs.

Worked into the offense to the tune of 14-141-1 (10.1) as a freshman, then saw his role expand to 35-677-7 (19.3) the following year. Became a focal point of the team’s offense as a junior, a year in which he went 78-1,169-12 (15.0), then followed that up with a similar line of 86-1,318-13 (15.3) as a senior. Pretty well-built receiver with solid height and bulk for the position. Lines up on both sides of the offense, sometimes in the slot and sometimes as more of a flanker, typically not on the line of scrimmage, something which facilitated his releases. Not one of the most explosive receivers in this year’s class, although he did run a fair amount of patterns down the seams from out of the slot; smoother than he is fast. Otherwise, his route tree consisted primarily of short hitches, curls, in routes, slants, and other patterns which allowed him to use his frame to shield defenders from the ball, something he does well. One of the most productive slant-runners in college football. Overall flexibility as a route runner looks good. Able to work in head fakes and stutter steps to create a little bit of separation when working over the middle of the field; maintains inside positioning against opposing defensive backs. Ability to sell his fakes rather than pure speed is often what allowed him to get open downfield; see the third-quarterback touchdown he caught against Iowa this year. However, would like to see him do a better job of finding ways to get open instead of settling into coverage when working against zone. Has good concentration to hang onto passes through contact, and what look like pretty reliable hands and about the catch radius you’d expect from a receiver with his size. Capable of making the spectacular grab (see touchdown vs. Auburn). Just adequate in the run game. Flashes the ability to get extension and engage when stalking, but overall level of effort as a blocker can be inconsistent. At times, struggles to stay engaged and can fall off of blocks. However, the physical tools are there for him to develop into a pretty solid blocker, and you can see it on tape at times. A highly-productive player over the past two years, he’s something of a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none prospect who has solid size, solid athleticism, solid route-running skills, and the ability to line up both inside and outside. Looks like a second-day possibility who may be able to work his way into a team’s offense as a second or third receiver.

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