With Recent Promotion, the Door is Wide Open for Darius Johnson

Scott Cunningham

Fact: Darius Johnson can pick apples from an orange tree and make the best lemonade you've ever tasted.

I'm not one to say "I called it" or anything else along those lines. And when it comes to Darius Johnson, any football fan with half a brain can recognize his talent. Now that's he's part of the 53 man roster, the question is what he will do with this opportunity. My guess is that he will make the most of it.

Johnson's recent promotion was well-deserved. The knocks about his size don't mean much once you see him on the field. In a league obsessed with tangibles, sometimes breakneck speed and ridiculous athleticism are just enough to get it done. The Falcons showed a lot of faith in him, opting to use him in lieu of former second-rounder Brian Robiskie and Kevin Cone.

Many were surprised when Johnson played 35 of 46 offensive snaps in his first-career game -- but he wasn't.

The coaches informed Johnson of their decision to elevate him last Monday. He got reps with the first team in practice to help develop some sort of chemistry with Ryan. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter knew Johnson was going to get a lot of snaps because Kevin Cone wasn't going to get pulled off special teams and Brian Robiskie wasn't yet fully up to speed with the offense.

Johnson could factor heavily in the Falcons' future plans. If he plays well in Julio Jones' absence this season, he'd arguably have the fourth receiver job locked down, with an opportunity to eventually supplant Harry Douglas. Add in Tony Gonzalez's impending retirement and the door is wide open.

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