Former Bowling Green quarterback Matt Johnson has a workout set up with the Buffalo Bills next week. Josh Reed of WIVB-TV in Buffalo was the first to report the news.
According to Sports Reference, Johnson played in 37 games at Bowling Green. During his collegiate career, Johnson completed 655-of-1,002 passes (65.4%) for 8,846 yards. He also threw for 73 touchdowns and just 16 interceptions with the Falcons.
Johnson went undrafted in this year's draft class, but was originally signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as an UDFA. The quarterback, interestingly enough, was released by the Bengals in favor of Joe Licata. Licata played his college ball at Buffalo and had a workout with the Bills after the 2016 draft.
Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus actually referred to Johnson as the best developmental quarterback in this year's draft class. Leading up to the draft, McGuinness wrote:
Johnson was our second-highest graded passer in college last year, but we know it’s not as simple as that for where he’ll be drafted. His size might hold him back, and coming from an offense where he was rarely asked to go through his progressions to the NFL will involve some work from whichever coaching staff gets to work with him.
While he’s definitely not the type of player to step right in as a day-one starter, he could fit well as a developmental prospect in Arizona. Head coach Bruce Arians loves to throw the ball downfield, and that’s the thing that Johnson does best. Another place where I feel like he could be a great fit is with Chip Kelly in San Francisco. We know that’s meant to be a quarterback-friendly system, where Johnson could throw quick screens and go routes to create big plays.
Just like with any other prospect there are no guarantees, but if a team can snatch the guy who throws the best go routes in the draft somewhere from the fourth round onwards, he has the chance to develop.
As McGuinness noted, Johnson throws a terrific deep ball. Tyrod Taylor unleashed quite a few deep passes in Greg Roman's offense last year, so Johnson may be a good developmental fit with the Bills. If the quarterback impresses the team during his workout, he'll participate in the team's minicamp. If Johnson makes the most of his opportunity, the Bills may place Johnson on their practice squad in 2016.