In the next 27 hours, the Las Vegas Raiders are going to make a lot of tough decisions and one of the more interesting spots is going to be at wide receiver.
The group is deep (deep enough that the team cut free-agent addition Demarcus Robinson early) and players like Tyron Johnson and DJ Turner have played well in both training camp in the preseason games. All NFL teams must set their initial 53-man roster by 1 p.m. PT Tuesday
There is a chance both of them will be kept. While he will be a depth piece if kept, Johnson would be of value to the Raiders because he would give them a speed element. While he knows that has been his NFL meal ticket, Johnson, who ended last season with the Raiders, knows he has to be more than a one-trick pony to make an impact in the league
“Being a fast guy, that’s all people talking about, ‘He’s fast, he’s fast.’ At the end of the day, I just want to have the overall game as far as route running, route depth, blocking,” Johnson recently said. “I want to showcase that I could do a lot more things than just speed.”
Raiders coach Josh McDaniels has been complimentary of Johnson throughout training camp and it’s clear he’s put himself on the brink of the 53-man roster, at the very least.
“I love his approach every day. He knows that - all our guys know that,” McDaniels said. ”That’s really the timeframe we’re in right now as a team. We all can do some good things, it’s just when you get to September, you need to be able to do those things repetitively at a very high level. He speaks for our team when he says that I think. He’s in the same boat as every other player. He’s working really hard at it. And again, if there’s a really good play, then let’s stack another really good play on it, and then another one. And then go to another period and do the same thing. He works really hard at that, he knows that that’s a big point of emphasis for our receiving group. But I would say that for pretty much our entire team.”
Johnson made it clear he hopes the Raiders’ brass knows he simply wants to be dependable and to help the team win.
“I wanted to be here; I wanted to make this team,” Johnson said. “Every day I’m just doing my job, working hard and being dependable. The guy that Josh is going to put out there, he wants dependable guys, smart guys. So, just being consistent and dependable will help me make this team or any team.”
Johnson will find out soon enough if he’s done enough to make the Raiders’ 53-man roster.