SI All-American Candidate Malcolm Johnson Jr. Highlights and Evaluation
Prospect: WR Malcolm Johnson Jr.
Projected Position: Wide Receiver
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-1, 180 pounds
School: Alexandria (Va.) St. Stephen's & St. Agnes
Committed to: Auburn
Frame: Average bulk with good definition and length in arms. Athletic torso and midsection, along with straight lower half.
Athleticism: Has been clocked at 4.6 in the 40-yard dash and 4.2 in the short shuttle. Also has a 39-inch vertical jump. Competes as a sprinter in track and field. Very good play speed in route phase and RAC phase. Solid release quickness and urgency off the line. Even better gear going from 1-2 than 0-1. Quick hands and can naturally reach and secure ball before they reach his interior frame.
Instincts: Uses a squirt technique to release versus squat defenders with solid swim. Has a subtle dead leg release versus press-man. Flashes a subtle head fake at the end of his stem prior to his secondary releases. Disciplined with eye-tracking of throws downfield. Uses good judgment and leap timing to subtly work himself in advantage position on 50-50 balls. Fair creativity and vision in RAC-phase and is able to locate initial creases to exploit as a runner.
Polish: Lines up almost exclusively on the right perimeter at No. 1 in all formations. Lined up as No. 3 in trips set to execute a shuffle concept. Current route tree mainly features verts, slants, corners and screen-game work, and needs to be expanded along with release plan. Hand usage in releases versus press-man must improve.
Bottom Line: Johnson is a sprinter whose speed translates to the field and can be seen on tape. He can stack the secondary vertically and has solid ball skills. While he must add strength and expand his route tree, he is an ideal fit as a Z-receiver in an offense that features a 5-step and 7-step vertical passing game.