Another Bills WR you should know about
June, 3, 2009
By Tim Graham | ESPN.com
|Al Pereira/Getty Images|
|Buffalo receiver Steve Johnson is impressing several members of the Bills.|
Toward the end of training camp last year, a member of the Buffalo Bills told me what a steal Steve Johnson would turn out to be.
"Steve Johnson is going to be a player," the source said.
Not much could be expected when Buffalo drafted the 6-foot-3, 198-pound Johnson in the seventh round out of Kentucky last year. Only three other receivers were drafted after him.
He played in 11 games, started one and caught 10 passes for 102 yards. But two of his receptions were for touchdowns.
On a team with Terrell Owens, Lee Evans, Josh Reed and Roscoe Parrish -- and with James Hardy, last year's second-round pick, coming off of knee surgery -- it's hard to imagine Johnson getting enough playing time to make much impact in 2009.
But Johnson has been backing up my source's claims and just might force his way onto the field.
Johnson has impressed the Bills with his competitiveness. He thinks he can catch any pass, regardless of where it's thrown.
He's strong. He runs decent routes, although he can improve there. While he doesn't have breakaway speed, he can get deep.
And he has stood out in recent practices.
"I have very high expectations," Bills quarterback Trent Edwards said of Johnson after practice on Wednesday. "If you asked Steve Johnson that question, he'd say the same exact thing.
"If you guys could watch some tape of the past couple practices of him getting off of the press, it's ridiculous. Some of the best corners on our team, [he's] getting right by them. He's shifty. He moves well. He comes out of his breaks well, and I'm happy he's one of our receivers."