Just a gifted, multi-talented athlete all the way around
The stat line from the 2016 season reads like this: 2,606 yards passing and 36 touchdowns through the air, 1,100 yards rushing, and 20 touchdowns rushing. Those are impressive stats, of course, belong to quarterback Tyler Johnson. All were accomplished in his Senior season at Minneapolis North High School, where he led that squad to the State Championship Game. It doesn’t stop there. Tyler also played defensive back on that team. Yep, you read that right; however, just for good measure, he was a big star on the basketball team as well, as that squad did win the state title that same Senior year. Rivals ranked Johnson as the number two athlete in Minnesota and the 36th ranked athlete in the nation. He is just a vastly gifted young man; vanilla he is not, one dimensional he is not. Forget about it.
Ranked higher, Johnson slips to the fifth round with much to prove
He was tied for 7th ranked in the nation coming into the draft. Johnson sat and watched as 16 receivers’ names were called before his. Call it bad luck, or maybe destiny, but whatever you call it, it certainly means big things for his future with the Bucs’ offense. Last season, the Bucs lost both top receivers in the second half of the season. Breshad Perriman stepped right into that void and shined brightly and turned it into a bigger contract with a new team. It didn’t look like the Bucs were going to be able to replace Perriman. They would have to have somebody step up. But there he was all six foot two inches and two hundred and ten pounds of pure athletic potential. He had slipped. He wasn’t supposed to still be around at that point. We may never know what the original plan for that fifth-round selection was supposed to be, and maybe the receiver position was the way they were going from the get-go and was delighted to see who was still available. Or maybe, they were looking at another position, but saw the value in Tyler and went with the best player available. It wouldn’t surprise me if Johnson were to place that chip on his shoulder and commence to proving all of those teams who passed on him, the fool. Let’s hope so.
Miller and Watson have something to prove in the wake of Johnson pick?
This could be a very telling season for the futures of receivers Justin Watson and Scotty Miller in Tampa Bay. Those two were originally considered candidates for the WR3 spot at some time sooner than later. I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see Watson move on to find better opportunities elsewhere. I say that, of course, because I believe Scotty Miller to be the better prospect of the two if only one were retained in a numbers game at the receiver position. Hot seat anyone?
You can never have too many multi-faceted, all-around athletes on your team. The ones that are great at whatever sport they immerse themselves into; always rising to the top of the heap over other players around them because you know one can never tell. If Tom Brady were to go down with an injury, God forbid, players like Ryan Griffin with only four regular-season passes in going on six seasons in Tampa probably just aren’t going to get it done. Maybe a Wide Receiver from Minnesota could if push comes to shove help us out a little in the quarterback department. You never know; stranger things have happened. Beyond all that, the Bucs may have once again struck it rich in the receiver position. This season, if it happens, is going to be quite entertaining around the Bay area, Tyler Johnson is just another reason why. Go Bucs!!