Never underestimate the opportunity a player gets after not hearing their name on draft day. The New Orleans Saints, more than anyone, find plenty of players under the radar. Some of the unknowns become contributors and others become legends in the black and gold. Wide receiver Juwan Johnson hopes to be that next guy.
Juwan Johnson Looks to Follow Colston’s Footprints
There’s no Player like Colston
Marques Colston is one of those guys. Colston was drafted #252 of #255 in the seventh round in the 2006 NFL Draft. Basically, he was an undrafted player being that late on the board. The Saints wanted him probably more than he wanted the Saints. No knock on wide receiver Santonio Holmes drafted first in the 2006 wide receiver class. No doubt, Holmes thrived in his career, but Colston ended up being the crowned jewel in 2006.
Colston understands the complexities of being disappointed yet staying focused on the task at hand. He recently was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.
Humble yet Determined to be a Legend
“When you come in the league as a seventh-round pick, this is something that’s not on the radar. You kind of stay in survival mode day in and day out. You hoping you did enough to keep your job every day. Coming here after Katrina, seeing the aftermath made me realize this is bigger than football. I was able to see Pierre Thomas and Lance Moore inducted into the Hall of Fame also undrafted free agents. With this organization, you’ll get the opportunity to show what you can do.”
Surely, there will never be another Marques Colston. It would be a disservice to even contemplate any player resembling the character and unwavering sense of perseverance of him. Wide Receiver Juwan Johnson at least has the stature of Colston. Furthermore, the witnesses of his character mimic a tiny bit of Colston. His offensive coordinator from Oregon Marcus Arroyo had this to say when Johnson arrived at the university: “He’s very humble and his work ethic and the way he’s been, come early and stay late, that’s really good to see.”
Staring Down at your Competition
At the NFL combine, Johnson stood out as being the biggest in the plethora of receivers there.
Official #NFLCombine WR measurements:
Tallest: Collin Johnson, 6-5 5/8
Heaviest: Chase Claypool, 238
Longest arms: Juwan Johnson, 34 1/4
Longest wing: Juwan Johnson, 81 5/8
Largest hand: Juwan Johnson, 10 1/2
— NFL Draft (@NFLDraft) February 24, 2020
Johnson started his career at Penn State where he put up decent numbers. He caught 81 passes for 1,123 yards and six touchdowns for three total seasons. That along with a 14.3 yards per catch average. Then, in Oregon he progressed. He only played in 10 games of 14 and help the Ducks win the Rose Bowl. Still, he caught 30 passes for 467 yards and four touchdowns with a 15.6 yards per catch.
The skinny on Johnson is Spiderman like radius to catch balls within a three foot radius. No doubt, the height advantage is going to be an asset to help him stand out. Also, the jump balls should go his way against smaller cornerbacks, On the other hand, his route running is not his strength. Sometimes his hands fail him too. Johnson needs more consistency catching the ball. Sometimes he makes the unbelievable acrobatic catches. Other times, a simple slant falls to the ground. All in all, he’s still a work in progress, but he has all the tools to make a run at the 53-man roster. Then anything is possible.
Embed from Getty Images