The Jacksonville Jaguars got a much-needed boost of speed and playmaking ability on Wednesday, officially claiming former Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Tyron Johnson off of waivers.
The Jaguars held first claim priority among all 32 teams following last year's 1-15 season, meaning they placed a high emphasis on adding Johnson to the roster.
Johnson is an explosive and talented deep threat who produced with Justin Herbert last year. Johnson has 4.36 speed and caught 20 passes for 398 yards (19.9 yards per catch) and three touchdowns in 12 games, making him one of the NFL's better deep threats. He is an explosive playmaker who can win on the outside, which the Jaguars lack on the depth chart.
Johnson signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2019 after playing for Oklahoma State for two seasons. During that time in the Big 12, Johnson caught 71 passes for 1,138 yards (16.0 yards per catch) and 10 touchdowns.
Johnson was a depth receiver for the Chargers last season but earned a reputation as a big-play threat and a bonafide field-stretcher. He was one of Justin Herbert's top targets, and now will have a chance to become the same type of player for Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars.
"It was a tough one, a really tough one," Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said about waiving Johnson. "T-Billy has done a lot for this team in the past and he did some good things for us in camp. That was one of the tougher conversations that I had today. I think that we have a really deep receiver room. There's a lot of competition. I think that it's just one of things where it's more numbers, not so much how we feel about him as a player, because I have a lot of respect for his game. Just where we're at from a numbers standpoint, and then the kicking game, being a big aspect of those back-end receiver roles. Just felt like going in this direction would be the right direction for us right now."
The Jaguars badly needed to add to the receiver room following the cut-down day. The Jaguars surprised many by keeping only five receivers (DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault, Marvin Jones, Jamal Agnew, and Tavon Austin), while they released/waived players such as Phillip Dorsett, Collin Johnson and Laquon Treadwell.
“That’s concern number one for me. We have Dorsett as dinged right now. We brought in Devin Smith, and he goes out there and makes a catch that I told him I haven’t seen our guys make, but he’s also had two ACL’s. He’s an older player, but he gives you the top end. He can knock the top off the coverage," Urban Meyer said on Tuesday.
"That’s my biggest concern, and also [having] three running backs with [Travis] Etienne [Jr.] being out. That’s 24/7 conversation as we continue.”
Well, consider that concern partially alleviated as of today, the result of Johnson's big-play ability now heading to Jacksonville.