Player Spotlight: Michigan WR Cornelius Johnson

Hawaii v Michigan
Hawaii v Michigan / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Position: Wide Receiver

Age (Draft Day): 23

Height/Weight: 6'3", 212lbs

40-yard dash: 4.44


Cornelius Johnson from Brunswick High School was rated a 4-star recruit by ESPN and 247 Sports, and he joined the University of Michigan in 2019. Throughout his college football career, he has played in a total of 61 games, accumulating 139 receptions for 2,045 yards and 14 touchdowns. In his final year at Michigan in 2023, he had 47 receptions for 604 yards and one touchdown.


Route-Running Savvy: Johnson displays a polished route-running ability, consistently creating separation with crisp cuts and a good understanding of leverage. He excels at in-breaking routes like slants and square-ins.

Reliable Target: Quarterbacks can trust Johnson. He has a knack for finding soft spots in coverage and possesses strong hands to reel in contested catches. He was always open when JJ McCarthy needed him this past season.

Physical Package: Johnson's impressive size (6'3") combined with his respectable speed (4.44 40-yard dash) creates matchup problems for defensive backs.

Consistent Producer: Throughout his college career, Johnson has been a reliable target, producing steady yardage totals, even though he never had a dominant season.


Limited After the Catch: Johnson lacks explosiveness and agility in the open field, hindering his ability to create yards after the catch (YAC).

One-Gear Runner: Johnson plays with consistent speed but doesn't possess true breakaway ability. He needs to get better at changing gears when running routes.

NFL Comparison: Brice Butler

Brice Butler
Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles / Elsa/GettyImages

Similar to Cornelius Johnson, Brice Butler found success in the NFL as a big-bodied wide receiver who excels at winning contested catches and using his size to his advantage. While not known for elite speed, both receivers offer reliable route-running and solid hands. Both are solid receivers, but they are most likely WR3 or WR4 on an elite offense.

Draft Projection: Day 3

Despite the intriguing size, speed, and reliable hands, Johnson's limitations after the catch and one-dimensional speed limit his upside. Teams seeking a developmental outside receiver who can win jump balls and become a consistent target in the passing game could find value in Johnson on Day 3 of the draft.