2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Theo Johnson

2024 NFL Draft - Penn State TE Theo Johnson scouting report

The NFL Draft will begin on April 25, 2024. We take a look at Theo Johnson, a big tight end who tore up athletic testing at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Johnson was rated as a four-star recruit by 247 Sports coming out of high school. He then decided to commit to Penn State instead of schools like Alabama and Ohio State.

In his four-year career at Penn State, Johnson racked up 893 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on 73 catches. His 2023 season resulted in an All-Big Ten honorable mention.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft scouting reports.

Theo Johnson, Tight End, Penn State

Name: Theo Johnson
Jersey: No. 84
Position: Tight End
School: Penn State
Class: Redshirt Junior
Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 259 lbs.


Theo Johnson’s Strengths

Johnson has the size and strength to obliterate second- and third-level defenders when blocking in space. He shows his mean streak and natural power by slinging them around with ease. On the backside of zone, he has a consistent first step that has the needed width and depth to let him cut off the defensive end. As the pin man on pin and pull, he fires his second foot while staying in a good position to seal the edge. He has very long arms that he uses to be a reliable pass protector. At times, he can hold his own against a premier pass rusher.


In the receiving game, he shows flashes of his straight-line athleticism, as he’s able to stack defensive backs while lined up out wide. Johnson was asked to run plenty of slot fades where he used a subtle jab step to get the defensive back off-balanced before winning vertically. With his size comes great 50/50 ball ability, as he averaged a 66.7 percent contested catch rate. No matter who the defender is, he can box them out and be physical at the catch point.

Theo Johnson’s Weaknesses

Despite his splash blocks in the open field, he lacks the footwork and leverage to be a physical blocker as an in-line player. On base blocks, Johnson doesn’t fire his second foot, letting the defender win at the point of attack. Even when he fires his second foot, he doesn’t run through the block which lets the defender stack and shed him. At times, he will superman his arms to get as much power as possible in his initial shot. This resulted in the defender slipping by him to make the splash play. At the beginning of the season, there were multiple plays where Johnson didn’t know his assignment, but it cleaned up as the year went on.

As a receiver, he lacks the change of direction to be a dynamic route runner which limits his route tree as a whole. Theo was only asked to run different variations of runaways like crossers, seams, and drags. During his routes, he is very physical with the defensive back which lets him gain some separation, but there are many times when his physicality gets out of hand and he draws penalties.. When lined up out wide, he is unable to consistently beat press with his lack of foot speed and dip. Even with his physical tools, he isn’t a dynamic weapon after the catch, averaging only 4.9 yards after catch throughout his career. Though he is a consistent 50/50 target, he lacks true consistency with his hands. The Penn State prospect averaged a 7.6 percent drop rate in his career.


Draft Projection: Day 3

Theo Johnson’s physical testing and his flashes on the field will make him a highly regarded special teamer and should guarantee him a roster spot. He will be a great option on pass-heavy downs to be sixth offensive lineman and pass protect. His pass protection will lead to designed touches where he can flash his athleticism and create explosive plays.

While he won’t play many snaps at the beginning of his career, he has all the tools to become a three-down tight end. This alone will make him a valuable prospect on Day 3 of the draft.

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