Player Spotlight: Penn State Tight End Theo Johnson

NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

Position: Tight End

Age (Draft Day): 23

Height/Weight: 6'6", 259 lbs

40-Yard Dash: 4.57 seconds


Theo Johnson arrived at Penn State as a highly-touted recruit, ranked as the third-best tight end in the 2020 class, according to 247 Sports. Despite his impressive athleticism, Johnson's production in college was limited and he wasn't a focal point of their offense in his first few years at Penn State. However, glimpses of his potential were undeniable, particularly in his final season where he recorded 20 receptions for 328 yards and 4 touchdowns.


Elite Athleticism: Johnson tested as one of the most athletic tight ends ever at the combine. a 4.57-second 40-yard dash is insane for someone with his size and frame. He has the potential to develop into a mismatch nightmare for linebackers and a receiving threat down the seam.

Imposing Frame: Standing at 6'6" and weighing 259 lbs, Johnson boasts a massive frame that allows him to box out defenders and win jump balls in the red zone.

Reliable Hands: Johnson has displayed fairly sure hands throughout his college career. He deals with the occasional focus drop, but it isn't a major issue for him.


Limited College Production: Johnson's production in college doesn't necessarily match his physical tools. This lack of experience raises questions about his ability to translate his athleticism into on-field success at the NFL level.

Needs Blocking Improvement: While he is a willing blocker, he can sometimes get too sloppy with his technique. He ends up on the ground far too often.

Route Running Refinement: His route-running needs further development to become a consistent receiving threat throughout the entire route tree.

NFL Player Comparison: Logan Thomas

Logan Thomas
Washington Commanders v Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

Similar to Logan Thomas, Johnson is a big-bodied tight end with elite athleticism. Both excel at winning jump balls in the red zone and possess the potential to be explosive receiving threats. However, like Thomas, Johnson will need to refine his blocking and become more consistent with his routes to become a top-tier tight end in the league.

NFL Draft Outlook: 2nd-4th Round

Theo Johnson presents a high-ceiling prospect with his rare blend of size and athleticism. Teams seeking to develop a well-rounded tight end will be intrigued by his rare traits. However, his lack of experience and need for refinement raise questions about his immediate NFL impact. Johnson is likely to be drafted in the 2nd-4th round by a team willing to invest in his potential and development.