Johnson’s name might not be as familiar as a lot of other talented wide receivers in the 2020 draft, but the Missouri receiver can be just as explosive in several areas.
Despite injuries limiting him to just 8 games in his senior season, Johnson finished his career with 2,190 receiving yards — sixth on Missouri’s all-time list — with 153-career receptions, good for #8 in school history. Jonathon Johnson also recorded over 700 yards in both his sophomore and junior seasons. He averaged 14.3 yards per reception and hauled in 13 touchdowns over the course of his career.
The “problem” is that Johnson had his best year as a sophomore when he averaged 17.7 yards per reception and caught 6 touchdown passes. With a dip in efficiency as a junior, and issues with injuries as a senior, Johnson’s career didn’t set him up well for the NFL draft. Still, he shows promise.
“He’s been really a productive player,” former Missouri head coach Barry Odom told The Kansas City Star. “You look at Jeremy Maclin, Danario Alexander, go back to Vic Bailey. It’s a testament to JJ. The yards he’s gotten after catch is impressive.”
Overall, Johnson is an Intriguing receiver prospect with two seasons of impressive production — despite injuries and a further fall off in efficiency in his senior year.
Johnson seems to fit into the theme of speed and explosiveness on offense that has defined the 2020 off-season.
At Missouri, Johnson was primarily a vertical worker, but did see reps as a possession target from the slot. Still, he could benefit from a connection with a play-action based passing attack that allows him to explore more of the route tree and field to take advantage of his build-up speed and ball skills. The Redskins are a team that has a need for this type of receiver — especially one with the flexibility to play wide or in the slot — meaning that he may well have a chance at an NFL career in Washington.
Measurements and Statistics
5’9”, 180 pounds
Draftscout.com lists Johnson’s 40 time at 4.4.
In this section, we’ll offer a look some film, with a brief look at style, skills and limitations written by Joshua Frye, who has volunteered to help me with this series.
As a Skins fan, Joshua says that he grew up with a team that wasn’t winning on the field, and that this lack of success made him look for something other than Superbowls to keep him connected. He focused on the draft. So, even from a young age, Josh watched college football, doing his best to evaluate players, and he read extensively — books written by coaches and personnel evaluators. Josh says that he would love to become a professional scout someday.
Let’s see what Joshua thinks about Johnathon Johnson
Here Johnson is working out of the slot on the left side against Arkansas. He quickly eats up the ground between him and the corner, and then just blows past him.
This play is against Eastern Michigan. Johnson is catching a screen and gets some good blocks to help spring him; he uses his breakaway speed for a TD. He didn’t get an invitation to the combine, so I don’t know his official 40 time, but this is a guy who plays like he has 4.3 speed!
This is part of what could help Johnson make this team. His speed opens up versatility. Here we see him against Arkansas again this time taking a sweep on the left side (almost) all the way.
Here Johnson is playing the role that probably offers his best shot at making this team. It’s against Eastern Michigan. And it looks eerily familiar to another Mizzou graduate’s game-winning TD against the Giants.
How would he fit with the Redskins?
Johnathon Johnson to me seems destined for the practice squad.
He’s only around 5’8” or 5’9” and, although he has what looks like elite speed, his versatility really only goes so far on offense. He would need to be a standout on special teams, in my mind, to make the final roster, but the Redskins are likely to have their pick of returners this year, with Antonio Gibson and Isaiah Wright offering choices beyond 2019 returners Quinn and Sims.
As UDFA’s go, rate Johnathon Johnson
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How good are the chances that Jonathon Johnson is on the roster in 2020?
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