The Denver Broncos could be in the market for a speedy receiver in the 2019 NFL Draft, and Diontae Johnson from Toledo is a candidate.
The Denver Broncos will spend the month of April finalizing their 2019 NFL Draft board and one player under consideration in the late rounds could be Toledo’s Diontae Johnson.
Johnson left Toledo after three seasons, his best coming in 2017 when he caught 74 passes for 1,278 yards (17.3 yards per catch) with 13 touchdowns.
He showed big play ability throughout his career at Toledo, but didn’t test very well at the 2019 Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
At 5-foot-11, 181 pounds, Johnson ran a 4.53 in the 40-yard dash and had a 7.09 in the three-cone drill. He also posted a 33.5-inch vertical jump.
Johnson was below the 50th percentile in every category except bench press (15 reps) at the Combine for wide receivers, and was under the 30th percentile for every category except broad jump.
That’s tough for a small receiver, but the Broncos are trusting the tape and might be willing to take a shot on this guy in the later rounds or as an undrafted free agent. After all, part of the top 30 visit process is recruiting potential undrafted free agents early.
Johnson took a visit to the Broncos’ facility on Tuesday and posted about it on his Instagram story.
In addition to being a big-play receiver for the Rockets, Johnson was a phenomenal return specialist. The NFL doesn’t necessarily need great kick returners anymore (which is very sad to say) but the Broncos have struggled badly in the punt return department, so perhaps this guy would get an inside track at that job if he were brought in.
He had one punt return touchdown and one kick return touchdown in each of the last two seasons.
NFL.com gave Johnson an Emmanuel Sanders player comp. That’s pretty lofty.
Watching some of his game footage, it’s clear that Johnson is capable of making plays after the catch. He also gets a pretty good release off the line of scrimmage, but will have to deal with bigger, faster, stronger, more instinctive corners at the NFL level.
He flat out cooks Michael Jackson of Miami (another NFL prospect) in this cutup.
Despite measurables that are less than ideal, this guy is a ballplayer and a playmaker. He has skills worth developing and could be a solid inside-outside option at the next level with high upside as a returner.