The Jaguars claimed one player off of waivers on Wednesday, former Chargers' wide receiver Tyron Johnson.
Jaguars' head coach Urban Meyer mentioned that adding some numbers to the wide receiver room after roster cuts was his top priority. Johnson joins a group that includes DJ Chark, Marvin Jones, Laviska Shenault, Tavon Austin, and Jamal Agnew.
Johnson stands 6'1" tall and weighs in at 193-pounds. He played his college ball at Oklahoma State but left after his junior season only to go undrafted. He initially signed as an undrafted free agent with the Texans in 2019 and bounced around a bit before finding a temporary home in Los Angeles.
An element the Jaguars have lacked in recent years at the receiver position is that of speed. Tyron Johnson brings plenty of that to the table. He has track speed and quickness and was a deep-play threat for the Chargers in 2020, hauling in 20 catches and averaging nearly 20 yards a pop, with three touchdowns.
Johnson's ability to take the top off the defense was undoubtedly highly attractive to Urban Meyer, who has always been obsessed with speed and game-breaking plays.
Why was Johnson available on waivers after a semi-breakout year in 2020?
The Chargers have a lot of talent and depth at the position, for one. Chargers' head coach Brandon Staley discussed the decision:
"It was a tough one, a really tough one," Staley said. "T-Billy has done a lot for this team in the past and he did some good things for us in camp. That was one of the tougher conversations that I had today. I think that we have a really deep receiver room. There's a lot of competition. I think that it's just one of those things where it's more numbers, not so much how we feel about him as a player because I have a lot of respect for his game. Just where we're at from a numbers standpoint, and then the kicking game, being a big aspect of those back-end receiver roles. Just felt like going in this direction would be the right direction for us right now."
Of course, Johnson was pulled off the field during joint practices this summer after jawing at a 49ers defensive back. And he also had trouble lining up on two straight plays late in the preseason contest against the 49ers, according to Chargers beat writer Daniel Popper.
Despite dealing with those issues during training camp, Staley still spoke highly of Johnson. And Chargers fans and blogs are none too pleased to see him go. Boltbeat.com writer Jason Reed wrote, "It's impossible to justify cutting Tyron Johnson from the 53-man roster."
As long as Urban Meyer can manage Johnson's fiery attitude and WR coach Sanjay Lal can get him lined up in the right spots, this should be an excellent addition to a team that lacked big-time speed. His big-play ability should pair nicely with Trevor Lawrence, who throws one of the best deep balls on the planet.
Now, when you look at the composition of the wide receiver room, you've got DJ Chark, who can take the top off the defense and make plays down the field; Marvin Jones, who is an excellent possession receiver with route-running savvy; Laviska Shenault, who does a bit of everything and turns into a running back when you get the ball in his hands; Tavon Austin, who has speed to burn and versatility; and Tyron Johnson, who should serve as a deep-ball specialist.
Overall, his skill set/physical ability is a better fit for the Jaguars' offense than Collin Johnson (waived by the Jaguars on Tuesday), who is a big-bodied receiver. The Jaguars have guys that can play with physicality, but they needed more speed, and that's precisely what Tyron Johnson brings to Duval.
Follow Jordan on Twitter.