The 6’1 wide receiver has slot ability and is known for being able to play against more physical style defenses, making contested catches look almost easy at times. While his speed won’t jump off the field, his ability to make catches for his quarterback can’t be denied. And it’s something the Bucs will look to leverage during Johnson’s time in the NFL.
“It’s a very surreal moment,” Johnson said. “I saw (Antoine Winfield Jr.) get picked up yesterday, got a chance to call him and talk to him and congratulate him.”
After taking a moment to relish the moment, Johnson changed the conversation rather quickly to getting to work and helping Tampa Bay bring back winning football to the franchise. As far as his role with the team, Johnson said, “I feel very comfortable in the slot and outside as well.”
Former Buccaneers wide receivers coach P.J. Fleck was Johnson’s head coach at Minnesota. Johnson had high praise for his now former head coach, and what he’s done to help the rookie get to this point.
“Coach Fleck is an amazing coach, man, a true players coach. Somebody that you would definitely want on your side. He helps you not only become a better football player, but a better man as well,” Johnson said. “Whenever it comes to the football standpoint, he’s a great - a phenomenal coach - he knows what he’s doing, he knows what he’s talking about. And having an extra coach in the receiving room, knowing that coach Fleck coached in the league and played in the league as well, it all comes together.”
Johnson has been a common name used on social media and in Bucs Nation comment sections over the past few months. So it may surprise some he was even available with the 161st pick in the NFL. Asked if having to wait so long has put a chip on his shoulder, Johnson conveyed an attitude and message which should have Bucs fans looking forward to seeing him in Tampa, even more than they were before.
“This may sound crazy, but I already feel like I have something to prove, honestly,” Johnson said. “Once you make it to the next level - the highest level - you have to restart your entire journey. Nothing is guaranteed, nothing is given to you. So I’m just going to continue to go out here and work my tail off, help contribute winning to a great organization, and I’m going to have fun doing what I do.”
Wide receiver was considered a high priority for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and with the selection of Tyler Johnson, the team certainly appears to have added a player with proven upside and a mentality of entering the NFL ready to earn every snap he gets.