At first glance, some might question whether or not former Texas standout Collin Johnson is capable of being a productive receiver at the NFL level. Having been released by the Jacksonville Jaguars this off-season, the New York Giants quickly scooped him up off the waiver wire.
Johnson spent his rookie season with Jacksonville last year, as a fifth-round pick. He tallied 272 yards and two touchdowns, but he offers something very specific for a Giants team that invested heavily at the wide receiver position is off-season, especially when it comes to Kenny Golladay. Big Blue signed Golladay to a four-year, $74 million deal, but having a competent back up option behind him is essential so coordinator Jason Garrett doesnâ€™t have to upend his scheme.
In 2020, the Giants lost star running back Saquon Barkley in Week 2, and the offense saw half its playbook go with him. Adding Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and the return of Barkley should open things up tremendously for a unit that desperately needs to see improvement.
Johnson offers a supplement to Kenny, as the tallest receiver in the NFL at 6’6″, 220-pounds. Johnson isn’t known for his route running, but rather his ability to high-point footballs and make contested catches.
The Draft Network coined Johnson a “big physical WR” coming out of Texas:
Big physical WR that displays good overall athleticism for the position. He uses excellent length and excellent catch radius in contested catch situations. He shows sufficient play speed on 8 and 9 routes while also displaying good tracking ability to locate the football in the air. He will use his big body to catch a 6 route and absorb contact. Displays good willingness and courage to give up his body to secure off targeted throws. Very good competitiveness to make difficult catches at critical moments in the game. He will be a red-zone nightmare for defenders due to his big body and ability to go get the football anywhere on the field.
With a very comparable skill set to Golladay, the Giants clearly view him as a solution if need be. Does this mean heâ€™s anywhere close to as talented as Golladay? Of course not, but itâ€™s about consistency with the scheme and not having to tear out pages of the playbook because they donâ€™t have a player who can replicate that portion.
Ultimately, this was a high upside signing for the Giants, with Johnson fitting a specific purpose.