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3 questions with Big Cat Country about Giants’ WR Collin Johnson

Adding a wide receiver was a surprise, so let’s get to know more about Johnson

Jacksonville Jaguars v Minnesota Vikings
Collin Johnson makes a catch last season against the Minnesota Vikings.
Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The last thing anyone expected the New York Giants to do when they scoured the waiver wire for help this week was to add a wide receiver. After all, they kept seven on the initial roster and cut fan favorite David Sills V, as well as some other seemingly useful players.

Yet, that is exactly what the Giants did on Wednesday. One of the players they claimed is 6-foot-6, 222-pound second-year wide receiver Collin Johnson. The 2020 fifth-round pick was somewhat surprisingly waived by the Jacksonville Jaguars after averaging 15.1 yards on 18 receptions as a rookie.

I turned to our friends at SB Nation’s Jaguars website, Big Cat Country, for information about Johnson. Below, a quick three-question Q&A about Johnson with Ryan Day of BCC.

Ed: Why did Jacksonville move on from him?

Ryan: I honestly don’t know. He was on the roster and had significant snaps late last season. I thought he was a lock for the roster... not as a top-three guy, but certainly after the likes of DJ Chark, Marvin Jones, and Laviska Shenault. It seems that Urban Meyer had other plans, as he was only getting reps late in preseason games this year. My best guess is that the Jaguars covet speed above all else at the wide receiver position. Collin Johnson is a decent player with very good size, but he’s not fast — running his 40-yard dash somewhere around 4.5 or 4.6. I hope he doesn’t turn into another Allen Lazard, a receiver we let go several years ago and turned into a solid contributor with the Green Bay Packers.

Ed: What does he do well? What does he struggle with?

Ryan: The first thing you need to know about Collin Johnson is the tallest receiver in the NFL. Standing tall at 6-foot-6 he uses every bit of that height and wingspan to transform himself into a big target for quarterbacks. He has a huge catch radius, as evidenced by his performance against the Minnesota Vikings last season. His weakness is playing too tight and letting mental on-the-field challenges get the better of him. When he played loose and performed as he did in practices, he was a good player on game days. When he played too tight or too nervous, he was a step slower and out of position. Build his confidence early in the season, let him be a safety valve for Daniel Jones, and he’ll be a guy you can count on for two or three catches a game.

Ed: How much special teams value does he offer?

Maybe he can play on coverage units, but he’s not a burner. If the Giants are bringing him in and he can consistently overcome the mental part of the game, his ideal role is a WR4 and red zone target.