OSU football: Receiver Tyron Johnson drew scouts' attention with his Pro Day performance
STILLWATER — As things seemed to be wrapping up at Oklahoma State Pro Day Tuesday afternoon inside the Sherman E. Smith Training Center, a couple of NFL scouts decided they weren’t finished.
One in particular, from the Kansas City Chiefs, wanted to see more route-running from former OSU receiver Tyron Johnson, who gladly obliged.
The scout set out orange cones, explained what he was looking for in Johnson’s footwork, then watched Johnson catch several more passes from quarterback Taylor Cornelius.
All 32 teams were on hand for OSU’s Pro Day. While the Chiefs might not be the eventual landing spot for Johnson, the attention he received was a positive sign.
Johnson, who measured in at just under 6-foot-1 and 193 pounds, passed up his senior season at OSU to take a shot at the NFL Draft, even though his stock wasn’t as high as other Cowboy juniors — Justice Hill and Jordan Brailford — who left early.
Johnson bet on himself, and on Tuesday afternoon, he showed he’s playing a strong hand.
“I think I put on a show,” Johnson said. “I did what was expected of me. I feel like I came out and I got the job done.
“I feel like I walk away with probably no worries.”
Johnson didn’t get invited to the NFL Combine two weeks ago, but his 40-yard dash time of 4.34 seconds would have been the fifth-best among receivers at the event. And only 12 receivers at the combine had more bench press reps than Johnson’s 16 on Tuesday.
His 30-inch vertical would have been on the low end of combine participants, but everywhere else, Johnson excelled. He didn’t drop a catchable pass all day, and pulled in a few that looked like he might not get his hands on.
“I feel like an underdog coming into the draft,” Johnson said. “Scouts don’t know much about me, but I think I woke ‘em up today.”
A former five-star recruit who initially signed with LSU, Johnson transferred to OSU after his true freshman season in 2015. He sat out 2016 in Stillwater, played mostly as a backup in 2017 and was a starter all of 2018.
He had 845 yards and seven touchdowns on 53 catches last season, with two of his biggest games coming late. He had 11 grabs for 128 yards and a touchdown at Oklahoma, and seven catches for 141 and two TDs in the Liberty Bowl, earning offensive MVP honors.
Though he could have returned and had another strong season opposite OSU’s Biletinikoff Award finalist Tylan Wallace, Johnson instead decided it was time to go.
“I felt like I was ready,” Johnson said. “I knew I was gonna do what it takes to get drafted and make a team, and I knew I was ready for it.”
He and Cornelius were in sync throughout their workout.
“He looked great. He really did,” Cornelius said of Johnson. “We threw a couple days ago when he came back, to get the timing down for today and it showed. We hit just about every route we wanted to. He looked good getting in and out of breaks, looked crisp. He was ready to go, for sure.”