Giants add promising UDFA linebacker out of Toledo

Desjuan Johnson, giants
Sep 17, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) throws a pass over Toledo Rockets defensive tackle Desjuan Johnson (1) during the first half of the NCAA Division I football game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch Ncaa Football Toledo Rockets At Ohio State Buckeyes

The New York Giants added several promising undrafted free agents following the 2023 NFL draft. Naturally, everyone is focused on Maryland cornerback Deonte Banks, new starting center John Michael Schmitz, and speedy receiver Jalin Hyatt.

However, most rosters are built through undrafted players, making it exciting to discover potential gems who could secure a spot on the 53-man roster.

We recently discussed Bryce Ford-Wheaton from West Virginia, a wide receiver boasting exceptional size and potential. In addition, the Giants signed Toledo linebacker Dyontae Johnson.

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What can the Giants expect from Dyontae Johnson?

Johnson played in 57 career games with Toledo, amassing 273 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and nine passes defended. He was a two-time All-MAC selection, demonstrating strong production and potential.

Though his athletic score is relatively low, Johnson possesses excellent playing vision and consistently positions himself to make an impact. This past season, at 6’2″ and 230 pounds, he recorded 109 total tackles, including eight for a loss and 3.0 sacks.

One aspect the Giants lack is a linebacker capable of coverage, and Johnson’s vision is sufficient to track tight ends and running backs coming out of the flat. While his athletic profile does not suggest he can keep up with fast offensive playmakers, he compensates with his size and solid football IQ.

Johnson will likely compete for a special teams role to begin his NFL career, but his size is similar to that of a defensive edge rusher, which adds to his versatility. The Giants have an incomplete linebacker corps, so an opportunity exists for a diamond in the rough, and they are eager to find one.