The New Orleans Saints are trying something different at tight end, as they reportedly are trying to transition Juwan Johnson to a tight end after he spent last season as a wide receiver. Nick Underhill of New Orleans Football first broke the news earlier this week about how Johnson could be making the switch and Johnson confirmed it on his social media not long after.
Johnson went undrafted out of Oregon in 2020 and didn’t pack much of a punch for the Saints as a rookie. Johnson played for Oregon one year and had previously spent four years at Penn State. He put up a career-high in touchdowns at Oregon with four while hauling in 467 yards receiving. He had 701 yards receiving in 2017.
The Saints had a lot of receivers on their roster last year, which made it hard for Johnson to stand out. The same could be said for this year, even without a true WR2 on the roster. That’s why this move makes sense because the tight end position has more room for someone to step in and shine.
Juwan Johnson could thrive with the Saints as a tight end.
By making this transition, Johnson will have more opportunities to show what he can do, which wouldn’t be the case if he were staying with the other wide receivers. At tight end, the Saints have Adam Trautman and Nick Vannett as locks to make the 53-man roster but who else makes it? Johnson might be able to sneak in there with an impressive summer.
Johnson being used as a tight end makes sense, as he showed impressive blocking skills during his college career. Geoff Schwartz, a former NFL offensive lineman, highlighted this block from Johnson when he was at Oregon. The Saints could certainly use this kind of production at tight end and if Johnson can bring this level of efficiency to the position, this move will look brilliant down the stretch.
There’s no debating that the Saints need some juice at tight end and Johnson might not end up being a star at the position, but he has more of a chance to shine there than at wide receiver. The Saints could still opt to use him in both roles but for now, this gives Johnson the best chance to make a name for himself while also adding depth to tight end.
Maybe this doesn’t lead to anything for the New Orleans Saints offense but it seems like a pretty solid idea as of now. Here’s to hoping it works out.