WR Vernon Johnson (Texas A&M-Commerce) - Undrafted free agent
Only two undrafted free agents got a bigger signing bonus from the Detroit Lions than Vernon Johnson this year. While that may not mean much in the long run, it is a sign that the Lions really wanted to sign Johnson once the NFL Draft concluded and he went undrafted.
Height: 6-foot-0 | Weight: 196 pounds
2013: 70 catches, 1,350 yards, 13 TD
2014: 77 catches, 1,258 yards, 12 TD
(via Texas A&M-Commerce)
Johnson played at Southwestern Junior College before transferring to Texas A&M-Commerce for the final two years of his college football career.
What the experts are saying
Creative, instinctive receiver who has the feet and hips to make defenders miss and the acceleration to hit the big play either after the catch or down the field. Johnson's routes need plenty of work, but his soft hands and plus athleticism give him an excellent chance of being drafted. His kick-return potential only helps his cause.
Positive: Athletic pass catcher that's displayed himself to be a lethal downfield threat. Possesses a quick burst off the line, plays faster than his 40 time and consistently beats defenders down the field. Easily makes receptions at full speed without breaking stride, displays good eye/hand coordination as well as focus. Easily adjusts to the errant throw or gets vertical to pull the pass from the air. Uses his frame to shield away defenders and protect the pass.
Negative: Must improve his overall route running. Marginally experiences running underneath routes. Lacks elite deep speed.
Outlook for 2015
The wide receiver position is already pretty crowded, so it seems unlikely that Johnson will make the 53-man roster this year unless he is able to win the return job or something along the lines of that. At the very least, though, he's a strong candidate to stick around as a member of the practice squad.