When the Vikings traded star Wide Receiver (WR) Stefon Diggs this past offseason to the Buffalo Bills, it left many fans wondering how the team would fill the void. There were already a plethora of needs heading into the offseason and with the departure of Diggs, WR was added to the top of it. Luckily for the Vikings when they traded Diggs, they acquired a first round pick which allowed them to draft WR Justin Jefferson from LSU, a move that left many fans and people within the Vikings front office giddy. We had heard the hype all offseason about Jefferson, via Twitter or his Instagram posts. Fans were ecstatic and confident that Jefferson would step in on Day 1 and take over for Diggs. But there was something, or rather someone, who had other plans; second year WR Bisi Johnson.
Bisi Johnson was drafted in the 7th round (#247) by the Vikings in the 2019 NFL Draft, and there wasn’t a lot of pre-draft hype for him. A raw WR from Colorado State, who played with the likes of Rashard Higgins (Browns), Michael Gallup (Cowboys), and Preston Williams (Dolphins), there weren’t a lot of eyes on him. While he never garnered a lot of attention, one thing stood out about Bisi Johnson, he was dependable and consistent.
In 2019, Bisi Johnson started out towards the bottom of the depth chart, with a whole lot to prove and a few people to surpass before he got significant playing time. But by the time preseason rolled around, people started to notice that there was something special about this guy.
Bisi Johnson continued to battle in the preseason, finishing with 5 receptions for 87 yards and a TD, while he securing a spot on the Vikings 53 man roster. When the regular season started, Bisi played sparingly in the first few weeks, but an injury to Chad Beebe in Week 3 meant an opportunity for Bisi was coming. He went on to snag his first NFL reception in Week 4, and just a few weeks later his role was grew even more when Adam Thielen went down vs Detroit.
Once Bisi got the opportunity to showcase what he had, he never looked back. As the season progressed, he continued to learn and get better.
He finished his rookie campaign with 33 receptions for 311 yards and 3 TD’s and was cemented as the WR3 for the 2020 season. That was until Stefon Diggs was traded. And even though Diggs is gone, Bisi credits him for how he helped him along.
Fast forward to now where Bisi Johnson has been turning heads this Training Camp, gaining the attention of both teammates and fans.
All of this attention is well deserved given the work Bisi Johnson has put in since he’s entered the league. In his 2019 campaign, he displayed a lot of tangible traits that are needed from an NFL WR. The first of those traits is Bisi’s route running ability. When he runs routes, he is very crisp in and out of his cuts, and has a fantastic release off the line of scrimmage. You can tell it’s something that he prides himself on, and it’s a key trait to becoming a successful WR in the NFL.
Route running isn’t the only thing Bisi Johnson excels in. He is also a really good run blocker. For a lot of NFL teams that may not be as important, but when your team implements a Zone Running Scheme, to feature a Running Back like Dalvin Cook, it becomes very important. Last season, Bisi ranked 9th out of 122 qualified receivers in run-blocking grade according to PFF.
Bisi Johnson is also reliable when it comes to catching the ball as he posted a 3.1% drop percentage, which ranked T-13 among WR’s in 2019 (min 41 targets).
Also, he’s shown he has the ability to high point the ball when it’s in the air and come down with the contested catches.
Bisi Johnson has earned everything that he’s gotten. He’s worked hard and put an immense amount of time crafting his talent and learning the playbook inside and out. Last season when he was called upon he did not disappoint. He’s taken advantage of every opportunity that he’s been given and shown that he has the talent to be a big factor in the upcoming season, not only on the field, but as a leader in the WR room as well. I have no doubts that Bisi will prove to the fans that he is ready for that WR2 position and ready to help fill the void left by Stefon Diggs this upcoming season. #SKOL
Bisi Johnson will get his first test as a WR2 starting out in Week 1 vs the Green Bay Packers where the Vikings are currently favored by -3.5 according to the NFL odds at Sports Betting Dime. In years past the Green Bay secondary has been a weak spot at times, but with the additions of some young playmakers, they aren’t a cake walk anymore. Last season in his lone game vs. GB, Bisi Johnson was held to 1 catch for 6 yards and 1 drop. While I believe he has all the tools to build off his rookie campaign, his first test will be no easy task.