Fifth-round pick for the Buccaneers, Tyler Johnson, was a selection that was widely praised during the 2020 NFL Draft, but is he currently on the hot seat?
Tyler Johnson and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked like a match made in Heaven when the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft rolled around. The Bucs needed depth at receiver, and Johnson was one of the most successful wide receivers in college football in 2019.
The Bucs love their starting receivers, but the depth past those two got slightly murky. Johnson was supposed to be the clear-cut third option on the depth chart, but now he could be in danger of not making the 53-man roster.
According to almost every report coming out of camp for the Buccaneers, Johnson hasn’t even been the fifth-best receiver in the group. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are obvious, but Scotty Miller and Justin Watson have both impressed when given opportunities.
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Even with Miller and Watson in the third and fourth spots, Jaydon Mickens has also outpaced Johnson solely based on his ability to practice. Johnson has missed most of camp so far, and bad injury luck is a major red flag for a rookie.
Tampa Bay needs consistent depth at wide receiver. Still, based on their allocation of roster spots towards running backs and tight ends, conservative guesses have the Bucs keeping five or six receivers at most.
By these estimates, Johnson is on the bubble, at least. The player that was the runaway favorite to be third on the depth chart just a few weeks ago now has an uphill battle ahead to making the final roster.
Miller and Watson both have the athleticism that Johnson lacks, and they have received opportunities to make cases for themselves. Johnson may have been able to make an argument for reps if he was able to stay healthy, but it may be too little too late.
If he does not make the 53-man roster, Johnson is an obvious lock for the practice squad, but this feels like an extreme disappointment for a player that has garnered so much buzz.
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Hopefully, Tyler Johnson will start to practice consistently soon, but where he ends up on the roster is currently a mystery. The former Minnesota receiver may heal up and compete for the fourth depth spot, but that appears to be the ceiling for the time being based on unfortunate injury luck.