Tyler Johnson On The Outside Looking In?

June 27th, 2022

Bubble to burst?

This is simply difficult for Joe to believe.

Until Bucs receiver Chris Godwin is healthy, third-year receiver Tyler Johnson is likely the Bucs’ top slot receiver. Godwin is most often in the slot in Byron Leftwich’s offense, and Johnson is often used at slot receiver because he can block and has some quickness inside.

Speed and blocking are two critical elements in Leftwich’s offense for slot receivers. But in a 53-man roster projection by Jenna Laine of ESPN, she has Johnson getting cut and stepped over by undrafted free agent Deven Thompkins.

[Cyril] Grayson makes the roster over Tyler Johnson because of his physicality and rapport with Brady. Jaelon Darden’s chemistry with Brady improved but was still too inconsistent, and Thompkins, an undrafted free agent whom Bowles singled out after mandatory minicamp, wins the final spot over Darden because of his special teams return ability — he ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at his Utah State pro day.

First, Grayson has 11 career receptions. Johnson caught 36 balls last season alone.

Now Grayson seems to be a good slot receiver as well — quick and can block. But if Johnson is tossed overboard, that leaves one experienced slot receiver on the roster until Godwin returns, assuming Russell Gage primarily plays outside until Godwin gets back.

Joe is nowhere near ready to jump on the Darden bandwagon. OK, he had some successful practices in underwear football. Whoop-tee-do. Darden has to prove a whole lot more when the pads come on, which is expected to be Aug. 1.

Remember, no one was a bigger cheerleader/apologist for Darden than former Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians. Well, Arians is no longer the coach.

40 Responses to “Tyler Johnson On The Outside Looking In?”

  1. BucsfanFred Says:

    I had high hopes for Darren till I watched him play.
    Johnson didn’t exactly impress either.
    Gage has experience in the slot.

  2. Maniac Buc Says:

    Darden is going to leave all these guys who think they know football looking real foolish this coming season.

  3. Buc4evr Says:

    Tyler is inconsistent which must drive TB12 crazy. Darden is easy to tackle and falls down a lot under pressure. No way can he play in the slot. Bucs better sign a veteran fast as neither of these guys is going to help TB12 win games.

  4. Hodad Says:

    Johnson is an average receiver at best. No way he makes the roster this year. Coach singled out Thompkins as someone he wants to see in pads, so do I. His highlight reel is impressive.

  5. Biff Barker Says:

    Ever heard Jenna ask a simple question? You havn’t because she can’t. That’s why BSPN pays the rank and file so poorly. Bottom feeding for sources Joe.

  6. Tsmpabaybucfan Says:

    Well, if Booger is to believed, Godwin will be put on the PUP list and we will have an extra roster spot for a WR…..so no cuts necessary until he returns…

    I don’t believe Booger so I do think it’s possible we will be placing at least 1 of our current WRs on the practice squad.

    Evans, Godwin, Gage, Perriman, Grayson, Johnson, Miller & Darden….that’s 8…..

  7. Lt. Dan Says:

    So far Darden = DexJackson 2.0 Just looking for a soft spot to fall down.

  8. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Johnson and Darden turtle in big moments.

  9. Eddie Marz Says:

    The only person looking foolish last year was Darden. Made one catch worth noting. He has a LOT TO PROVE. GOBUCS!

  10. SOEbuc Says:

    Are you serious??? Bucs are going to cut Johnson after a great rookie year and not so great second year for Darden??? That’s what you call inconsistent???Scotty Miller needs to be cut or traded before TJ. And yeah TJ has good break off the route and blocking abilities, which are needed in a “pass happy” league, and Darden and Grayson are not the biggest in the litter. Grayson and Darden can fight for the number four or the slot if Gage is not ready to start game one.

  11. SOEbuc Says:

    And you’re using Jenna’s info and opinion for references??? Smh. Oh, nonononono Joe.

  12. LVMYBUCS Says:

    Wasn’t that Johnson that caught that HELLA behind the back pass from Brady on our way to a SB win. He looked loss last year though on the field but he has talent but needs to sharpening them.

  13. Tsmpabaybucfan Says:

    It’s likely Darden will get another year to prove himself…….due to what I call…”draft ego”……..Licht traded up in the 4th round to pick him and will be very reluctant to cut him early……Johnson can do some things like blocking & work the slot that Grayson, Miller & Darden can’t really do. The odd man out here is Grayson……not drafted…..may be back on the PS……along with Thompkins. and that’s if we only keep 7 WRs.

  14. Tsmpabaybucfan Says:

    Grayson is the odd man out with this group…….Miller, Johnson & Darden were draft picks…….Johnson can block & play slot unlike Miller, Grayson & Darden.
    Grayson will be placed on the PS along with Thomkins if we only keep 7 WRs.


  15. A Bucs Fan Says:

    If Thompkins makes the team Jaelon, Scotty, or Johnson would be cut. Based on last year I could move on from Jaelon (played scared) and/or Johnson (lazy and poor performance).

  16. Dooley Says:

    I like what Tyler Johnson can be, he’s got to clean the drops up and be a little more consistent cashing in his opportunities, but he can make himself some money if he keeps improving on working the hashes and moving the chains. With Godwin out that was a given, but with Gronk gone we’ll need somebody like Tyler Johnson to step up and be apart of the midfield presence our pass game needs.

  17. tampabayallday Says:

    TJ is prime trade bait/cut bait

  18. SOEbuc Says:


    “Wasn’t that Johnson that caught that HELLA behind the back pass from Brady on our way to a SB win.”

    Yes. That was his “omg he’s next Godwin year” to “trade bait/cut.” Who wants to mention Cyril Grayson is a FA after this year and TJ is still under rookie contract. The only thing Darden did his rookie year was slide like Randy Arozarana his rookie year. I wish well for all our players and WR, but many of these opinions about TJ in his first and second year is blatant bandwagon. Hope he shows up 2022.

  19. adam from ny Says:

    year one he was pretty great when called upon…

    year two, not so much…in fact he was fairly lame out there…

    year three – we shall see…

    dooley seems sorta on point with comment above ^^^^^

    with gronk gone maybe tj can become a nice midfield presence…he was a few times in his first season – maybe he can reassert himself

  20. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    In the quote you have here from Laine, it says Grayson makes it over Johnson, and Thompkins makes it over Darden, meaning Darden does NOT make the team.

    Laine’s WR Depth Chart:
    1. Evans
    2. Gage
    3. Perriman
    4. Grayson
    5. Thompkins
    6. Miller?
    IR: Godwin?

  21. sasquatch Says:

    I wouldn’t put much stock in it — I mean, it’s Jenna Laine, let’s get serious.

  22. Cobraboy Says:

    I doubt Johnson is going anywhere unless Darden and that other kid blow up extreme bigly in TC.

    That said, BA is no longer Johnson’s protector.

  23. Lakeland Steve Says:

    There’s a new Sheriff in town and his name is Todd Bowles. Bowles knows he has to be successful this time around or he may never get another chance to be a Head coach. As for Darden, he better light it up in the pre-season or he’s either sent down to the practice squad or cut. Darden needs to show he is more like Devin Hester and less like Dexter Jackson to make this squad.

  24. Dooley Says:

    @Adam from NY

    Johnson lowkey had a better statistical season in 2021 than he did in 2020. Part of that being the fact Johnson got more reps due to injuries, but he went from 17 targets(12 receptions) to 55 targets(36 receptions) year 2 and accounted for 14 first downs. Not great, not bad either, but what may work in his favor is being a developing pro route runner and getting reps against CB3s/Safeties in live action. We’ll see how he gets grown within this system, guys in his position(WR3/4 at best) around the league are an after thought on most rosters.

  25. Proudbucsfan Says:

    Let’s hope TJ don’t show up to training camp fat and out of shape like he did last summer or he will be cut. No room at one buc for lazyness when TB is ready to win another SB

  26. SPARKY Says:

    TJ was the #2 wide receiver against the Rams in the playoffs. But Brady yelled at him twice for slowing down on his routes, almost leading to interceptions. From then on it was Evans, Gronk, and Lenny only. TJ might be in the dog house.

  27. Craig Says:

    Johnson still has the basic problem of not being able to catch the easy balls. That makes it hard for him to play the slot; too many chances for interceptions.

    Though he can block, he seems more tentative about it than Grayson, who is a beast when blocking.

    Grayson might have better hands and he doesn’t have a whole lot of bad habits. He is also considerably faster than Johnson, all of that puts him ahead of Johnson on my sheet.

    Perriman is more of a question that either Grayson or Johnson, but less of one than One trick Miller or rollerskating Darden.

  28. Marques Says:

    Grayson is injury prone. Make no mistake this is Tyler’s make it or break it camp. He better produce or else he will be the next wr out the door.

  29. Listnfrmafar Says:

    Lakeland, there’s a new sheriff in town and TB12 will determine what WR stay or go!

  30. Goatfarmer Says:

    [That’s not very nice. —Joe]

  31. Marine Buc Says:

    Has Perriman ever stayed healthy for longer than 4 weeks in a row?

    At some point Perriman will end up on the IR and that will clear space for Johnson, Thompkins, Darden, Miller or Greyson…

  32. Jason Says:

    When it comes to receivers, we keep whoever Brady says we keep.

  33. westernbuc Says:

    Well Jenna Laine took a season off because of a migraine so maybe her opinion isn’t worth much

  34. #99 Says:

    Nothing to see here !! move along.

  35. Mike Says:

    I think the Bucs keep 6 WR’s and that doesn’t include Godwin, who I would expect to go on the PuP list to start the season.

    I think the Bucs keep Evans, Gage, Grayson, Darden and Johnson and probably Perriman as well. I don’t think Thompkins makes the team unless he really lights things up in preseason or if there are injuries.

  36. Darin Says:

    I once heard Laine say OJ Howard fumbled a ball that was clearly never caught. It was deflected and caught by the other team. Not sure why anyone would put stock into her football opinions. C’mon Jenna tighten up

  37. Ed Says:

    Slot receivers have to be able to get open quickly, catch the ball and run after the catch. Godwin excels in those 3 areas.

    When I watch Johnson I see receiver that is too slow, inconsistant catching the ball and not a great YAC guy.

    I don’t expect him to make an impact this season.

  38. Bucca-near-Ring Three Says:

    I think even Darden and his mom would have to agree he needs more practice.
    If he could have performed in the return game this might be a conversation but for now I think he should consider himself lucky to get a year on the practice squad. I think in a year the Bucs MIGHT feel lucky to have given him that chance.

  39. FrontFour Says:

    Johnson came into camp out of shape last season and BA put him in the dog house and never forgave him. Let’s see how he comes into camp in a few weeks. The kids got great hands and hopefully learned his lesson.
    PS – Listening to Jena Lane ask a question is tedious. Why would anyone listen to her.

  40. ATLBuc Says:

    Joe, she did not say that Darden beats out Johnson. She said that Deven Thompkins will beat both of them out and that Johnson and Darden will get cut