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GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
11223 posts

Juwan Johnson cross-training at tight end
I was wrong about this one. Someone called this about a month ago. Forgot who said this.

LINK

NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill shared an interesting nugget this week about Juwan Johnson, the second-year pro out of Oregon whose first NFL snaps came at wide receiver. Underhill reports that Johnson has been practicing for a potential position switch to tight end, where he’s a natural fit at 6-foot-4 and 231 pounds. This follows social media footage of Johnson working out often with Jameis Winston early in the offseason, occasionally lining up with Adam Trautman in what appear to be two-tight end sets.

Just looking at things logistically, he would have a better shot making the team as New Orleans’ third tight end (behind Trautman and veteran free agent pickup Nick Vannett) than its fifth receiver (after Michael Thomas, Tre’Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, and maybe Marquez Callaway or rookie draft pick Kawaan Baker). If he stays in the receivers group, he’ll be competing with similar skills sets in Callaway, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, and Jordan Lampman. The pool of rival candidates at tight end — practice squad holdovers Garrett Griffin and Ethan Wolf — are comparatively thinner.

While Johnson got on the field sparingly in his first season (totaling 186 snaps on offense), he spent the majority of them lining up out wide; Pro Football Focus charted just 27 of his snaps beginning in the slot, with more than 82% of his reps starting out on the edge of the formation, and none of them at tight end. So while he would effectively be learning a position from the ground up, he still has a shorter path towards sticking on the roster by converting.

Now, nothing is official until the Saints take the field for training camp later this summer; for now, Johnson is still listed as a receiver on the team’s online roster. But Underhill’s report confirms suspicions that Johnson could be pursuing a roster spot from a different angle, which makes sense for him. The Saints have a history of trying out unique athletes at tight end, dating back to unicorns like Jimmy Graham, the ageless Ben Watson, and even quarterback converts in Taysom Hill and Tommy Stevens (and at one point, apparently Tim Tebow). We’ll see if he Johnson makes the move, and whether he’s successful, once the Saints hit the practice field in July.


GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
11223 posts

re: Juwan Johnson cross-training at tight end
I like this move. He has a much better chance of making the team as #3 TE.

Trautman & Vannett are locks. The 3 TE's he's competing with are Garrett Griffin, Ethan Wolf, & Dylan Soehner. Griffin is a blocking TE, so Trautman & Vannett make him expendable. I'd like Griffin on the PS though...just in case of injuries. Wolf & Soehner (udfa) are complete question marks. I like his chances.

At WR...Mike Thomas, Callaway, Tre'Quan, & Deonte Harris are locks. Juwan would be competing against Lil'Jordan Humphrey, Kawaan Baker, Jake Lampman, Jalen McCleskey, & Easop Winston for 1 roster spot...maybe 2 roster spots at the most.
This post was edited on 6/5 at 2:44 pm


Mpd31
Member since Nov 2019
1760 posts

re: Juwan Johnson cross-training at tight end
He would basically be filling the big slot off the ball tight end role that we like to use. Pretty much like we used Cook, Graham, and Colston. We like to use big guys in the slot and attack the seam. This could have been Sean’s vision for him all along given his size


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Mpd31
Member since Nov 2019
1760 posts

re: Juwan Johnson cross-training at tight end
quote:

Trautman & Vannett are locks. The 3 TE's he's competing with are Garrett Griffin, Ethan Wolf, & Dylan Soehner.


The flex tight end or big slot is a position that we are currently missing. A lot of opportunity there for a guy who is willing to do it. MT is not going to want to attack the seam very often. This is where Colston made his living. You are going to get rocked but it is almost always open and if it isn’t then it will open up other routes.
This post was edited on 6/5 at 1:50 pm


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70
NamariTiger
Grambling Fan
Flower Mound, Texas
Member since Jun 2014
15341 posts

re: Juwan Johnson cross-training at tight end
I like it, Johnson was touted for being physical. He’s a willing blocker and also is great on special teams.


GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
11223 posts

re: Juwan Johnson cross-training at tight end
quote:

I like it, Johnson was touted for being physical. He’s a willing blocker and also is great on special teams.


It also allows us to possibly keep both Juwan Johnson & Lil'Jordan. I doubt both would make the team as WR's, b/c they're so similar.

This is my way too early guess at WR & TE

Mike Thomas - lock
Marquez Callaway - lock
Tre'Quan Smith - lock
Deonte Harris - lock
Lil'Jordan Humphrey
Kawaan Baker

Adam Trautman - lock
Nick Vannett - lock
Juwan Johnson


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Suntiger
USA Fan
BR or somewhere else
Member since Feb 2007
29719 posts

re: Juwan Johnson cross-training at tight end
Well, he pretty much only blocks now. I have to admit, I thought they would try to turn Lil’Jordan into a TE. Kind of a Boo Williams 2.0.


NamariTiger
Grambling Fan
Flower Mound, Texas
Member since Jun 2014
15341 posts

re: Juwan Johnson cross-training at tight end
I think Humphrey becomes an adequate red zone threat this year.


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GynoSandberg
New Orleans Saints Fan
Member since Jan 2006
68060 posts
 Online 

re: Juwan Johnson cross-training at tight end
LJH is only 210 at 6’3”, runs 4.75, and is well below average in every athletic metric. He’s stuck between too small for a TE and not enough juice for a WR

Now Juwan Johnson is 230 at 6’4” and runs 4.58, and is above average is most explosive metrics for a TE. Also has elite arm length and hand size. I posted the other day, his measureables are very close to Evan Engram’s. Will be one to watch

Expect Vannett to absorb Josh Hill’s roll. Trautman to lead in snap shares. Sprinkle of a 3rd guy, hopefully Johnson emerges


saintsfan92612
New Orleans Saints Fan
Taiwan
Member since Oct 2008
26066 posts

re: Juwan Johnson cross-training at tight end
yeah, Johnson has a ton of talent. When he was at Penn State he was generating serious late first round-2nd round buzz going into the 2018 season then he just kind of fell off a cliff.

Still made some nice grabs at Oregon, but wasn't anywhere near as productive as everyone thought he'd be even with Herbert having a great season.

It is kind of amazing that a 6'4" 230 lb WR who runs a 4.58 40 and has good athleticism and decent production went undrafted. Hopefully we got a little steal.


GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
11223 posts

re: Juwan Johnson cross-training at tight end
quote:

It is kind of amazing that a 6'4" 230 lb WR who runs a 4.58 40 and has good athleticism and decent production went undrafted. Hopefully we got a little steal.



Everyone probably thought that he was a tweener like Colston. Everyone besides CSP was wrong about Colston...hopefully this ends up working out a little like that, but at the TE position. Colston was, literally, listed as a TE in a lot of draft rankings.
This post was edited on 6/6 at 3:34 pm


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20
Chalkywhite84
New Orleans Saints Fan
New orleans
Member since Dec 2016
11628 posts

re: Juwan Johnson cross-training at tight end
I'm pretty sure back when he was at penn state he thought about switching to tight end.

I think he can at the very least give you what dan arnold did.

I remember when we brought him and callaway in as udfa's
Some people loved callaway and some loved johnson.

I think callaway can be that 3/4 receiver. You can tell he loves the game and wants to learn the offense.

Always need a safety blanket like callaway.


GMoney2600
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Oct 2005
11223 posts

re: Juwan Johnson cross-training at tight end
Just found another decent article on Juwan Johnson... LINK...*There's a video in this link*

Saints might be onto something by moving Juwan Johnson to tight end

The New Orleans Saints are trying something different at tight end, as they reportedly are trying to transition Juwan Johnson to a tight end after he spent last season as a wide receiver. Nick Underhill of New Orleans Football first broke the news earlier this week about how Johnson could be making the switch and Johnson confirmed it on his social media not long after.

Johnson went undrafted out of Oregon in 2020 and didn’t pack much of a punch for the Saints as a rookie. Johnson played for Oregon one year and had previously spent four years at Penn State. He put up a career-high in touchdowns at Oregon with four while hauling in 467 yards receiving. He had 701 yards receiving in 2017.

The Saints had a lot of receivers on their roster last year, which made it hard for Johnson to stand out. The same could be said for this year, even without a true WR2 on the roster. That’s why this move makes sense because the tight end position has more room for someone to step in and shine.

Juwan Johnson could thrive with the Saints as a tight end.

By making this transition, Johnson will have more opportunities to show what he can do, which wouldn’t be the case if he were staying with the other wide receivers. At tight end, the Saints have Adam Trautman and Nick Vannett as locks to make the 53-man roster but who else makes it? Johnson might be able to sneak in there with an impressive summer.

Johnson being used as a tight end makes sense, as he showed impressive blocking skills during his college career. Geoff Schwartz, a former NFL offensive lineman, highlighted this block from Johnson when he was at Oregon. The Saints could certainly use this kind of production at tight end and if Johnson can bring this level of efficiency to the position, this move will look brilliant down the stretch.

There’s no debating that the Saints need some juice at tight end and Johnson might not end up being a star at the position, but he has more of a chance to shine there than at wide receiver. The Saints could still opt to use him in both roles but for now, this gives Johnson the best chance to make a name for himself while also adding depth to tight end.

Maybe this doesn’t lead to anything for the New Orleans Saints offense but it seems like a pretty solid idea as of now. Here’s to hoping it works out.
This post was edited on 6/6 at 9:09 pm


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