Who is Ty Johnson?
If you don’t know Ty Johnson, that’s OK. When people hear that name, usually Maryland Terps football fans smile and talk about how good he was at Maryland. For everyone else around the league though, they just look at him as a RB4 and someone who will never become a starting back. Let’s take a look at Ty Johnson before he was on the Lions and running all over defenses at Maryland University.
Ty Johnson in College
Ty Johnson entered Maryland as a three star recruit from Cumberland, Maryland. Johnson was also the 20th best recruit in Maryland and the 64th best running back in the nation according to Rivals. Throughout his four years with the Terrapins, Ty racked up 4,196 all purpose yards (3rd most in school history) while also being a very scary and agile kick returner. Surprisingly, Johnson did not receive an invite to the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. But, Ty Johnson did very well at Maryland’s pro day in front on 28 NFL teams, 2 AFL teams and a CFL team. Ty Johnson left scouts jaws on the floor after running the 40 yard dash, as he reportedly ran a 4.3-4.4 40. One reporter even had Johnson running a 4.28 second 40.
Once the NFL Draft came, it took 2 days for his named to be called, but it was called. The Detroit Lions decided to take Ty Johnson in the 6th round and the 186th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Ty Johnson’s Rookie Year
Sadly, at the beginning of the 2019-2020 season, Ty Johnson was being drowned out by the hype surrounding starting RB Kerryon Johnson. Luckily though, throughout the season Ty was given more carries and overall more playing time. In his first year in the league, Ty Johnson ran for 273 yards while catching 24 passes for 109 receiving yards.
For a normal Lion’s fan, they would say that this is underwhelming and he is a waste of a pick, but lets take a look at why he could be the Lions true secret weapon.
How is Ty a Secret Weapon?
This is a huge reason why he could be such a secret weapon. His work ethic to get better. Ty Johnson has taken his workouts to the next level throughout this offseason and he wants to get better at the game of football every day. He is showing Lion’s fans through these type of videos that he is ready to go and show the entire NFL community what he’s made of.
Of course, though, there is a downside. In the 2020 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions selected D’Andre Swift in the second round, bumping Ty down another spot to RB3. This resulting in Ty getting fewer snaps unless he is somehow worked into the main offense as a receiving RB like former Lion’s RB Theo Riddick or put at kick returner instead of former KR Jamal Agnew.
Overall, Ty Johnson has potential and the Lion’s need to find a way to use his abilities to help the offense and have a better record than 3-12-1.