2024 NFL Draft WR prospect Johnny Wilson left Florida State’s Week 8 contest against Duke early with an apparent leg injury and did not return. Will he be able to come back to the fold in Week 9 against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons? Here’s what we know.
Johnny Wilson Injury: Update on Florida State Senior WR
Wilson missed the Syracuse game with an injury and returned against Duke. He caught five passes for 58 yards against the Blue Devils but suffered another injury late in the third quarter.
After being evaluated for some time in the medical tent, Wilson left for the locker room with help from trainers and did not return to the game.
Now, Wilson’s status is up in the air for the Seminoles’ Week 9 game against Wake Forest, and head coach Mike Norvell was somewhat vague when he spoke about Wilson’s status on Monday.
“We’ll see where it is,” Norvell said of Wilson and fellow injured WR Destyn Hill. “I can tell you, Johnny was in a really good place yesterday coming out of the game. I’m excited about what that group is, and hopefully, we have Destyn and Johnny rolling here this week because it keeps us at full strength. But if not, there’s new opportunities for other guys, and we’ve got a talented group.”
Though Norvell’s comments are vague, and there is hope that Wilson will see a swift return, it seems as though Norvell is at least prepared for the possibility that Wilson won’t be available in Week 9.
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If Wilson is unable to go, more pressure will be placed on fellow 2024 NFL Draft prospects like Jordan Travis, Trey Benson, and Keon Coleman to keep the offense afloat against a talented Demon Deacons defense.
So far in 2023, Wilson has caught 25 passes for 415 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 16.6 yards per reception.
Wilson’s Scouting Report
- Outrageously long receiving threat with a dominating frame and wingspan.
- Offers eye-catching explosiveness and initial accelerative capacity for his size.
- Amped-up athlete with excellent stride frequency when attacking vertically.
- Long strides, combined with stride frequency, amount to legitimate deep speed.
- Flashes impressive short-area quickness and cylindrical twitch as a RAC threat.
- Possesses the burst, energy, and physicality to be a venerable vertical RAC weapon.
- Has stalwart contact balance and leg churn and can explode out of tackle attempts.
- Has shown he can catch short RAC targets with diamond technique away from frame.
- Effortlessly elongates and snares high passes and has stellar sideline awareness.
- Adept contortionist who can make extraordinary midair body adjustments for passes.
- Uses intentional eyes to press upfield and can bend into zones while accelerating.
- Has the zone awareness to veer into DB blind spots and use his frame to convert.
- Has enough short-area freedom to snap and swivel around on intermediate curls.
- Length can be overwhelming for defenders at stems, allowing him to pry himself clear.
- Extremely tenacious blocker who understands leverage and dominates with his traits.
- At his height, naturally lacks great sink and hip flexibility as a route runner.
- Has a tendency to play too tall into stems and struggles to transition back to the ball.
- Needs more time to fully decelerate and regain control after retracting his strides.
- Larger frame makes it more difficult to constrict and manipulate DBs on releases.
- Has room to expand his route tree, but linear build and style limit him past verticality.
- Doesn’t quite have elite long speed when stacking, and can’t always get separation.
- Size-adjusted agility is solid but doesn’t have elite short-area freedom and suddenness.
- Clap-catches on occasion and can stand to have his hands tighter in those instances.
- Wide hands approaching the catch point cause instability when attempting to secure.
- Can be late to get his hands in the right spot and experiences lapses with timing.
- Sometimes attempts to body catch downfield, allowing passes to slip through his frame.
- At times, needs more precision when tracking deep passes while tightly covered.
- Is sometimes over-zealous with his length and physicality, resorting to push-offs.
- Sometimes plays too lopsided into physical coverage and loses balance as a result.
- Blocking tenacity, while coveted, can lead to a lack of control at times.
Current Draft Projection and Summary
In another deep WR class, Wilson grades out as a mid-Day 2 target who could rise into the early Day 2 range with another good year. He’s in contention for a top-10 WR spot in the 2024 NFL Draft, but his physical profile and role projection are more confined and specific than other receivers.
At 6’7″, 237 pounds, with reported 36″ arms, Wilson is a towering spectacle with dominating size and length. And at that size, he’s an incredibly impressive athlete. He offers quick acceleration off the snap, instant stride elongation, and has the long-strider speed to consistently threaten defenders down the field.
Also threatening is Wilson’s physical profile, both at and after the catch. He can use his frame to box out DBs and his length to supersede all contested threats. He’s a raging bull after the catch with domineering physicality, tenacity, leg churn, and mass — all made more potent by his searing explosiveness out of contact.
As a weapon, Wilson is exciting — and he can be used with versatility, lining up either on the boundary, in the slot, or hugging the line. He also provides additional value as an elite blocking presence. But while Wilson can be easily weaponized, his operational traits draw more uncertainty.
While Wilson is a smart zone separator with good spatial awareness and window IQ, he’s not a natural sinker or an efficient route runner on breaks. His tall, linear makeup largely limits him to hitches, crossers, and vertical concepts. And while much of his production comes down the field, his hand technique can be inconsistent. He consistently leaves his hands too wide at the catch point and can be prone to body catches and drops.
Wilson’s limited route-running projection and his hands dilute an otherwise enthralling 2024 NFL Draft scouting report. But even with his drawbacks, Wilson can be a devastating dual-sided RAC and deep threat for an NFL offense. His physicality simply overwhelms defenders, and he has the true speed and explosiveness to capitalize.
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