NFL News & Analysis

Premium Content Sign Up

How rookie WR Tyler Johnson completes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' stacked receiving corps

Even before Tom Brady’s arrival in Tampa, the duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin — arguably the best receiving tandem in the entire NFL — was very well known around the league.

The two pass-catchers combined for 2,490 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns a season ago, and they helped the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earn PFF’s top-ranked team receiving grade (86.7) over the course of the regular season. Godwin finished the season ranked first at the position in overall grade (90.7) while Mike Evans finished the year tied for sixth (85.7), making the Bucs the only team in the NFL with two top-10 wide receivers in terms of PFF grade.

After the Bucs added Rob Gronkowski to a tight end group that already included O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate, Brady now has one of the league’s most prolific group of pass-catchers. However, surrounded by a cast of headliners, rookie slot receiver Tyler Johnson has all the potential to become that final piece needed to make the Bucs a complete receiving group entering the 2020 NFL season.

[Editor’s note: Subscribe to PFF ELITE today to gain access to PFF’s Premium Stats and new Player Grades experience in addition to the 2020 NFL Draft Guide2020 Fantasy Rookie Scouting ReportPFF Greenline, all of PFF’s premium article content and more.]

Better Than Your Average Fifth-Round Pick

As college football’s highest-graded wide receiver over the last two seasons, Johnson’s fall into the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft allowed Bucs general manager Jason Licht to come away with one of the biggest steals of the entire draft.

In a class rich with talented wide receivers, Johnson stood out with back-to-back seasons with a 90.0-plus receiving grade and an average of at least 3.30 yards per route run. Surprisingly, he even ranked higher in multiple receiving categories than both CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy over the last two seasons.

Lamb vs. Jeudy vs. Johnson: Receiving stats from 2018-19
Stat CeeDee Lamb Jerry Jeudy Tyler Johnson
PFF receiving grade 91.3 91.0 94.2
Receptions 127 145 165
Receiving yards 2,481 2,476 2,478
Touchdowns 25 24 25
First downs and touchdowns 92 102 119
Explosive plays of 15-plus yards 57 64 59
Yards per route run 3.42 3.31 3.50
Passer rating generated 146.5 131.6 122.5
Contested-catch rate 44.4% 58.8% 60.4%

Drafted by the Bucs to man the position of slot receiver between Evans and Godwin, Johnson earned an impressive 89.8 receiving grade from the slot in 2019, where he produced 82.5% of his 1,317 total receiving yards and averaged 3.49 yards per slot route run, the second-highest average among draft-eligible slot receivers. As a superb route-runner, he truly has all the tools to become one of the NFL’s premier slot receivers.

Subscribe to PFF Edge to continue reading

Already have a subscription? Sign In

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.

NFL Featured Tools

  • Live picks, grades and reaction to the 2022 NFL Draft.

  • PFF's Big Board for the 2023 NFL Draft offers three-year player grades, combine measurables, position rankings, and in-depth player analysis for all of the top draft prospects.

    Available with

  • 250+ three-page scouting profiles - advanced stats, 3-year grades, player comps, combine data and Senior Bowl grades - for the 2022 draft class.

    Available with

  • PFF's exclusive metrics provide matchup previews, position rankings, grades, and snap counts.

    Available with

  • Our exclusive database, featuring the most in-depth collection of NFL player performance data.

    Available with

Pro Subscriptions

Unlock NFL Player Grades, Fantasy & NFL Draft

$9.99 / mo
$39.99 / yr

Unlock Premium Stats, PFF Greenline & DFS

$34.99 / mo
$199.99 / yr