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2024 Rookie Profile: Tight End Theo Johnson

Penn State Tight End Theo Johnson was one of the surprise winners of the NFL combine. @ReflipeWThenuz breaks down the player and his prospects for both the NFL and your dynasty squads.

For the casual dynasty owners, the name Theo Johnson broke onto the scene in full during the recent NFL combine. The former Penn State star tested in the top echelon of every drill he participated in. His size, speed, and athletic profile will surely garner the attention of NFL teams by the middle rounds of the upcoming draft. As dynasty fantasy football managers, it behooves us to learn as much as possible about a player. This article will break down the Canadian star and highlight his strengths and weaknesses ahead of the NFL draft. Without further ado, let us dive into the former Penn State star.


  • School: Penn State
  • Year: Senior
  • Position: Tight End
  • Home Town: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
  • Height: 6’6”
  • Weight: 259 lbs.
  • 40-Yard: 4.57
  • Vert: 39.5”
  • Broad: 10’5”
  • 3-cone: 7.15


Penn State has become one of the better schools in the nation when it comes to producing NFL tight ends since the arrival of James Franklin. Aside from Iowa and Alabama, it is hard to think of a school that has consistently produced as many quality players. Numerous big men have heard their names called within the first couple of rounds of the draft. Mike Gesicki, Pat Freiermuth, and Brenton Strange have all taken that route to being 2nd round NFL draft picks. Johnson appears to be the next in this line. 

I remember scouting Johnson for Saturday Tailgate years ago when he came to PSU from Canada. The big man was one of the top Canadian players to head south of the border for football. Just look at his High School highlight tape, and you will see why I was instantly a fan.

Penn State Career

Importantly for Johnson, he wasn’t a liability in the running game. He was always a willing blocker for his runners. He also has a soft pair of hands when the moment counted the most, in the red zone. Johnson managed to score 12 touchdowns while playing for Penn State. When we look at his film, I’m sure you will be asking the same question: how did a player with those skills put up such small numbers? 

Johnson never blew the doors off during his four years in Happy Valley with his statistical production. He never even put up 500 yards in any one single season. However, throughout his entire time on the Nittany Lions squad, he flashed his immense potential. He also managed to improve every season incrementally.

Receiving & Rushing Table
2020Penn StateBig TenFRTE745614.0000045614.00
*2021Penn StateBig TenSOTE131921311.210001921311.21
*2022Penn StateBig TenSO112032816.440002032816.44
*2023Penn StateBig TenSRTE133434110.070003434110.07
CareerPenn State7793812.2120007793812.212

Film Breakdown

As with most tight ends, the first thing that stands out when scouting Johnson is his size. He is a big kid, measuring 6’6” and over 250 lbs. Johnson repeatedly flashed the ability to use his size to his advantage to make contested catches and absorb shots from defenders, as you can see below. 

For a big man, Johnson was also surprisingly nimble. As you can see below, he had some nice stop and start ability. Watch how he stops on a dime, puts his foot in the dirt, and jumps over a defender, extending the play.

That ability to put his foot in the ground and change direction will help him immensely at the next level. In the play below, you can see him changing direction again quickly to avoid the trailing defender chewing up the yards after the catch. 

One aspect of Johnson’s game I like is his ability to catch the football away from his body. He doesn’t just wait for the ball to get in on his torso; he reaches out with his enormous wingspan and plucks the ball out of the air.

Whether on the line of scrimmage or in the endzone, he routinely makes excellent hand catches. 

One area the casual fan will look to see with Johnson after the combine is his speed. When you watch the tape, you see him flash his long speed.

While he certainly didn’t put up gaudy numbers, he can stress a defense down the line. 

As you can see in the clip below, Johnson was also extremely capable of making contested catches in the endzone. He can use his size and large frame to body out defenders and make back-shoulder catches. 

Johnson has been on an upward trajectory among the draft community since before the combine. In particular, he was a standout at the Senior Bowl. Below are some of his highlights from that weekend.

Despite his strengths, Johnson has some areas that he will undoubtedly need to address at the next level. Like nearly every rookie tight end, Johnson will need to improve his blocker skills and seriously work on his route running.

Despite his immense physical talent, he was never used as a major component of the passing game at PSU. The question will be if a coach at the next level believes he can unlock the potential we all see. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, I have a positive feeling about Johnson as an NFL prospect. He combines some very nice athletic traits with an excellent football IQ. He has been a four-year contributor at a major university and has had a very nice track record in developing his position. Johnson also benefits from entering the league in a year when the free agent market is extremely thin in his position.

There are no more talented players besides Brock Bowers at tight end in the class. I fully expect Johnson to hear his name called sometime on Day 2. If he finds his way to the right situation, he could become an asset to dynasty managers looking for help in tight-end positions. 

Thank you for reading this article! Please be sure to join the #Nerdherd, so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing things we have to offer Use my promo code DynastyHolliday for a 15% off discount. You will get rankings, extra podcasts, and access to our rookie film room. You can get access to our revolutionary DynastyGM tool for just a few bucks more. So much for so little; why miss out on all the fun? Also, you absolutely must check out our new mock draft tool. Find it in your Apple & Android app stores. Follow me @ReflipeWThenuz for more dynasty content and other musings.

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