Player: Ty Johnson
Height/Weight: 5-10, 208
2018 statistics: 9 games played, 506 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns, 27.2 yards/kick return (college)
2019 base salary: Unsigned at press time
Contract Status: Unsigned at press time (likely to sign a slotted four-year rookie contract)
Johnson (pictured above) comes to the Lions as a sixth round draft pick who may have to flash as a kick returner to have a chance at a roster spot in 2019. He performed well in this role in his last two years at Maryland, averaging nearly 26 yards per kick return over that span.
With a build comparable to Theo Riddick, it’s natural to imagine Johnson filling a similar kind of role with the Lions. Heck, Riddick was a sixth round pick also. Johnson though, put up minimal receiving numbers in college, totaling just 11 receptions over his last two seasons at Maryland, for less than 100 yards. That simply may be too much to ask from him.
If Johnson is on the roster come Week 1, he’ll still likely have a significant climb to see regular snaps on offense. Not unlike Riddick, he doesn’t project as a full time ball carrier due to his slight build and limited physicality. But the Lions obviously liked him as a developmental project, and should he not make it onto the initial 53, he could be a good stash candidate for the practice squad.
Chances of making the 53-man roster: 50 percent