The Detroit Lions decided to boost their skill position talent at the end of the 2019 NFL draft. They added three skill position players in the final two rounds, including Maryland running back Ty Johnson in the sixth round.
Johnson racked up 2,635 yards on an efficient 7.6 yards per carry in his four years as a Terrapin, including 506 yards on 7.7 yards per carry in his senior year. He also scored 21 total touchdowns in college, four which came in 2018.
The running back’s greatest asset is his blazing speed. He clocked in a 4.26 40-yard dash at his Pro Day, and that speed shows up on film. Johnson is a threat to house the ball whenever he breaks into the open field, and his speed makes him a dangerous return man as well.
He has more than just speed, though. At 5-foot-10, 212 pounds he has decent size for his speed. He has the burst and agility to succeed as well.
Johnson is still a raw player, though. He has more speed and explosion than anyone would ever need, but he has trouble getting himself pointed in the right direction. The running back does not have the vision or football IQ to match his athleticism, and that is why he fell so deep in the draft.
The Maryland product will face long odds to have a role on the 2019 team, and will have to stand out over training camp and preseason to prove to coaches he’s worth a game day roster spot.
He should make the final 53-man roster, though. Detroit did invest draft capital in him, and weak depth at receiver and tight end should open up a fifth spot at running back in Detroit.
We could even see the rookie feature regularly this season as a utility player. His blazing speed and open field ability make him a big play threat, and Detroit could find creative ways to get the ball in his hands in open space to scorch defenses.
Johnson might be one of most intriguing players to watch this summer, and he has potential to be a x-factor on Detroit’s offense this season.