Chargers Add WR Tyron Johnson, DT P.J. Johnson to Practice Squad
Jason B. Hirschhorn
The Los Angeles Chargers have made a pair of additions, albeit not to the active roster. On Wednesday, the team signed wide receiver Tyron Johnson and defensive tackle P.J. Johnson to the practice squad.
Tyron Johnson, a 6-foot-1, 196-pound wideout from Oklahoma State, went undrafted this past April after a productive college career. He started his college career as a five-star recruit with the LSU tigers before transferring after his freshman season. During his sophomore and junior seasons at Oklahoma State, he compiled 71 catches for 1,138 yards and 10 touchdowns. Johnson also spent some time on special teams, averaging 20.3 yards per kickoff return.
Since entering the league, Johnson has bounced around on 90-man rosters and practice squads. He originally signed with the Houston Texans but failed to make the final cut. A few days later, he joined the Buffalo Bills, lasting there only a few weeks before returning to Houston for a two-day stint. In October, Johnson signed with Carolina Panthers and remained there for roughly two weeks before receiving his walking papers again.
NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein wrote the following of Johnson before the draft:
"Deep ball specialist with ability to take the top off defenses. Johnson's game is geared to get down the field and make explosive catches, but the rest of his skill-set is still very raw. While he can force safeties away from the line of scrimmage, he's not an instinctive route-runner and gives too many clues away to cornerbacks who will swarm his breaks as a pro. He has great deep speed to get into a camp, but shaky hands and modest production may foreshadow and uphill climb."
As for P.J. Johnson, the 6-foot-4 defensive lineman joined the league as a seventh-round pick of the Detroit Lions earlier this year. Johnson did not make it through final cuts and has not spent time on another team's practice squad or roster since. He played his college ball with Arizona State, amassing 31 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and two fumble recoveries during his career.
Zierlein's prospect report on Johnson reads as follows:
"Big, upright interior defender who can be a disruptive force against the run thanks to his upper body twitch that allows for quick wins at the point of attack. Leg stiffness definitely limits his bend causing inconsistencies with his anchor and functional change of direction. He could be a late to undrafted player, but his ability to beat the block in front of him and cause chaos could earn him a spot as a rotational defensive tackle."
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH