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2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Theo Johnson (TE – Penn State)

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Theo Johnson (TE – Penn State)

FantasyPros will be taking a look at early NFL Draft scouting reports before the Combine in March. Here’s a look at Penn State tight end Theo Johnson.

2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Theo Johnson

Theo Johnson (TE – Penn State)

6’6” – 264 lbs.

Background:

Canadian-born. Four-star recruit who caught four passes as a freshman then posted lines of 19-213-1 (11.2) and 20-328-4 (16.4) in the two following seasons. Took over the starting job from Brenton Strange this year and went 34-341-7 (10.0) to conclude his collegiate career.

Positives:

Big tight end with escalating production in each year of his college career. Versatile player who usually lines up as an H-Back type, but takes snaps all over the offense; as an inline option, from the slot or split out wide, and even from the backfield. Shows nice form as a blocker; plays with good knee bend, a straight back, and a wide base. Works hard to sustain through the whistle. Can create a bit of movement when he gets the outside shoulder. Good understanding of positioning allows him to wall off opponents; can come in motion or pull across the formation and secure the backside against opposing defensive ends with effective crack blocks. Ran a pretty wide variety of routes, ranging from safety-valve types to overs. Shows good physicality as a route-runner; not going to be knocked off of his route easily, and can use his aggressiveness and strength to create some separation at the stem. Hands-catcher with a wide radius and the focus/size for contested catches. The team relied on him near the red zone, and he has the frame to continue functioning as a goal-line weapon. Pretty competitive after making the grab. Active with his punch when retained in pass protection, and was asked to stay back and block a bit more often than usual. Lower-body strength to absorb power is about what you’d expect given his size.

Negatives:

Was a bit less dynamic this season, without as many targets down the field. Doesn’t show the best overall quickness to line up opponents in space. Keeps his legs churning after contact, but doesn’t have a ton of power to generate movement. Can get outside his frame, leading to balance issues and causing him to fall off of blocks at times. Not the fastest or most explosive tight end; sort of a one-speed player who may struggle to run away from man coverage and consequently does most of his work against zone.

Summary:

A big-bodied tight end who was asked to line up all over the offense and execute a variety of different assignments, his best traits are his versatility and technique as a blocker and his frame/radius as a receiver. Doesn’t have the most explosive route-running skills and may struggle to create separation down the seams at the next level, but should offer reliability as a safety valve, with additional value near the goal line.

Projection: Round 4-5

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