Player Spotlight: Collin Johnson - NinosCorner Sports | Efficient Sports Analytics...Successful, Relevant Data

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Player Spotlight: Collin Johnson

Player Spotlight: Collin Johnson
by Nicholas "NinosCorner" Battle
If you created a wide receiver in a football laboratory, Collin Johnson would check off nearly every item on your wish list.  At 6'6" and 220 pounds, Johnson's catch radius is like none other in college football.  Only 10 NFL wide receivers bested his 48.4% 1st down per target rate in 2018.  Additionally, his ability to create explosive plays at the collegiate level are second-to-none.  Johnson recorded a 36.8% explosive play rate, with 25 catches being of 15 yards or more.  Of those 25 catches, 22 were at least 20 yards or more.  Only 4 NFL receivers posted more 20 yard receptions than Johnson (Tyreek Hill, Mike Evans, Julio Jones, and DeAndre Hopkins).

Johnson's 59.2 BattleStat Number (BSN) rate in 2018 is comparable to Amari Cooper (60.1), Keenan Allen (59.2), and Josh Gordon (58.9).  I personally like the Kennan Allen comparison, even though Allen concedes 4 inches of height to Johnson.  Both players are excellent "high-point" receivers that will win 50/50 balls more-so than not.  Neither Johnson or Allen have elite speed; however, each player has enough speed and size to physically threaten defensive backs downfield.  Running a 4.40 40-yard dash does not constitute how effective a player each is.  Their football intangibles are what allows them to thrive in their respective offenses.

Johnson shared receiving duties at Texas last year with current New Orleans Saints' wide receiver, Lil'Jordan Humphrey.  With a huge void left by Humphrey and younger talent stepping into his role, Johnson has the opportunity to truly flourish and become Texas quarterback, Sam Ehlinger's number one target this season.  I expect Johnson to become the focal point of the Texas passing game, while compiling over 1,000 yards this season on his way to the NFL Draft in April 2020.

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