Tyler Johnson isn’t just a guy, and this is a situation where talent can meet opportunity.
If Chris Godwin leaves in free agency, Johnson will likely slip right into his slot position. With the Bucs just winning the Super Bowl, there’s a pretty good chance Godwin sticks around, whether it’s on a long-term deal or on a franchise tag.
Still, it’s worth exploring the possibility of a Godwin departure.
Tyler Johnson broke out at age 19 on a terrible offense, meaning he had at least 20% of his offense’s total production.
He ranked in the top-10 in yards per route run in each of his last two seasons out of Minnesota, and ranked 3rd in his last year only to CeeDee Lamb and Tee Higgins.
He has the profile of a very good WR prospect when you look at his numbers… he broke out early, he ranked high in YPRR, was basically the whole offense as a sophomore, and then killed it over his next two years of college as well. He was a gem on a bad offense.
Johnson was primarily a slot WR in college for both is junior and sophomore year, and with both perimeter WRs Mike Evans and Scotty Miller under contract for 2021, Johnson seems like a natural fit to take over Godwin’s role. It’s worth noting that Miller was a slot WR in college, but he has made the transition to the perimeter in the NFL.
Godwin is a very good WR, and isn’t just a scheme fit, so don’t expect Godwin-type production from Johnson. However, he can be a late round sleeper that turns into a WR3 with upside. There will be opportunity available after a Godwin exit and a potential Gronk retirement.
Mike Evans will obviously be the primary focus of the passing game in 2021, and he is in for a big year if there isn’t a big name taking targets away from him.
We’ve seen Scotty Miller be hit or miss while some of these WRs were out, but if Johnson gets a full-time role in 11-personnel, he can be the 2nd option in the passing game for Tom Brady in 2021.