In a Falcons season where not many things have made fans happy, a rainbow-hued ray of chocolate-flavored sunshine has come through the dark clouds. Darius Johnson is coming up from the practice squad at last.
League source tells me Falcons will promote rookie WR Darius Johnson from the practice squad to add depth, fill open roster spot— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) October 19, 2013
For those who haven't been obsessively tracking DJ's career since arriving in Atlanta, the rookie undrafted free agent made a splash in preseason by displaying very good hands and athleticism. He's just 5'10", but the 22-year-old flashed more than enough talent and catching ability to stick on the practice squad and potentially crack the roster down the line. With the injuries, he's getting the call up sooner than I think most of us expected him to.
I've spent a great deal of time trying to get fans to stop clamoring for Johnson, because I figured there was no way he'd be up in 2013 and thought folks were setting themselves up for disappointment. With Julio Jones out, Roddy White likely missing at least one week and Brian Robiskie still learning the playbook, the Falcons felt they needed receiver depth. Luckily, they had a promising prospect hanging around on the practice squad. Good to be wrong sometimes, no?
I think Johnson's potential is worth checking out. If Kevin Cone or Drew Davis falter, you have to hope he's at least going to get a shot at some playing time, even if we should fully expect the growing pains that come from being a relatively small school receiver trying to learn an NFL offense as a rookie.
I would still advise against getting your hopes too high for Johnson right now, as he's likely to be the fourth or fifth receiver against Tampa Bay and may not even be active. The best case scenario is that he impresses in his limited chances and gets more snaps as the season wears on, leading to a roster spot in 2014. Worst case? He's a gameday inactive, but still gets valuable experience that helps him compete for a roster spot in 2014. Even if it is only a one-week callup, no real downside here.
Thoughts on the promotion for Hands of Truth?