The 2021 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. Here is the Cade Johnson 2021 NFL Draft Profile.
Cade Johnson Background
Position: Wide Receiver
Size: 5-foot-11, 184 pounds
Class: Redshirt Senior
2019 stats: 72 receptions, 1,222 receiving yards, 8 touchdowns, 17.0 yards per reception
Johnson is one of the FCS prospects who have impressed over their college careers. He will be making the jump from the FCS to the NFL after declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft.
In high school, Johnson was an all-state performer in basketball and football, but was not recruited by many big schools. He ended up going to South Dakota State and redshirted his first year on campus. He started to get playing time as a redshirt freshman in 2017, when he had 23 catches for 318 yards and three touchdowns. His play helped the Jackrabbits reach the FCS semifinals. Johnson broke out as a redshirt sophomore with 67 receptions for 1,332 yards and 17 touchdowns. South Dakota State once again reached the FCS semifinals, but came up short. In 2019, Johnson had 72 catches for 1,222 yards and eight touchdowns. The Jackrabbits reached the second round of the FCS playoffs before getting knocked out.
With the 2020 FCS season moved to the spring, Johnson decided to prepare for the next level. He is currently projected to be a second to fourth round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Johnson is extremely quick for a wide receiver. He has a quick first step at the snap of the ball and can really have a defensive back playing catch up in a hurry. HIs quickness extends to his change of direction very quickly, whether the ball is in his hands or not.
He is dynamic with the ball in his hands. This goes for both when he returns kicks and after he catches the ball. His solid quickness can help him get some distance between himself and defenders. He reads the field well and makes solid cuts to maximize how many yards he can pick up.
His hands are really solid as well. There aren’t too many drops on tape for Johnson. He has good focus and isn’t afraid to go over the middle. While he doesn’t always have the measurables to compete on jump balls, he will give it his all trying to haul the ball in.
Johnson will not be much of a red zone threat. He can create big plays, but when the field gets condensed, defenders can use their size better against him. Johnson isn’t going to be able to win jump balls in the end zone with a lot of frequency and is a player who does better with room to operate.
He can improve his route-running by making more crisp cuts. Johnson gets open because of his speed, quickness and change of direction, but if he makes sharp cuts, he could really separate. Against NFL-level athletes, a fine-tuned route-runner with his athleticism would be hard to match up with.
It is hard to get a great read on how good Johnson can be because he didn’t play the best competition. He wasn’t challenged very much at the FCS level. To go along with that, he wasn’t able to play in the 2020 season, due to the season being moved to the spring. He did well at the Senior Bowl practices, but will face much better competition at the NFL level.
Projected Draft Range: Second Round Pick-Fourth Round Pick
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