by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Penn State, Tight End, Theo Johnson
Name- Theo Johnson
Pos- Tight End
Team- Penn State
HT/WT- 6’6” 264 lbs.
Home – Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada)
Theo Johnson was a consensus 4-star prospect out of Holy Names High School in Manitoba, Canada. He was ranked as the #1 prospect in Canada and 107th best prospect overall. After being selected to the Under Armour All-American game, he committed to Penn State over several other offers.
Johnson appeared in 7 games as a true freshman, with one start, and had 4 receptions for 56 yards. In 2021, he appeared in 13 games, making 6 starts and had 19 receptions for 213 yards and a touchdown.
In 2022, he started 9 of the 11 games and had career highs in each category. He ended the season with 20 receptions for 328 yards and 4 touchdowns. His season did not go unnoticed, and he was put on the Mackey Award Watch List, the award for the best tight end in college football.
Theo Johnson is a tight end with good hands who can make plays for you in the open field or in traffic. He explodes off the line and has the fluidity of a wide receiver. He will be tough for a linebacker to cover one-on-one. More of a possession type receiver, he makes up for this with his punishing running ability after the catch.
Johnson will give teams versatility in the ways they can line him up. He can be spread out wide, lined up in the backfield or anchored to the line. He has good ball security when he puts his head down and gets the most yardage that he can.
He is not a great blocker, however, especially for this size. He was Brenton Strange’s understudy and was used mainly on passing situations. It is noteworthy that Johnson is coming from an offense where his routes and route tree have been limited, and will have to prove to NFL scouts that he is capable of adding the necessary routes to his resume. He could be considered a tweener because he is fast but not as strong as the average tight end in this draft class.
With his catch and run potential to go along with his lack of blocking ability, Draft 412 was reminded of Hunter Henry during his Arkansas Razorback days. Both are able bodied receivers who will get the most for a team in yards after the catch.
Yards after the catch
Now that Brenton Strange is a Jacksonville Jaguar, it is Theo Johnson’s turn to be the main target and improve his overall game. He definitely needs to improve his run blocking and route running to improve his draft stock.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - Round 4 or 5