Johnson expects switch without a glitch

"I've got two big older brothers so contact is nothing new. Tight end is a label but the tight ends caught 70 balls on this team last year. Being in there to block is something I enjoy doing. If you look at my career at Stanford I had at least two pancakes a game. Being a power forward is a lot like playing tight end."--Teyo Johnson

 

            Many folks viewed Oakland Raiders tight end Doug Jolley as a receiver trapped in a tight end's body.

            Jolley, who Oakland selected in the second round of last season's NFL Draft, may have a teammate that fits that description as well. The Raiders selected 6-foot-5, 247-pound Stanford wide receiver Teyo Johnson in the second round of this season's draft but the team will shift him over to tight end.

Johnson, who played power forward on Stanford's basketball team, expects the move to be a worthwhile one. He is also not averse to the position's role of becoming a blocker.

"I've got two big older brothers so contact is nothing new," Johnson said. "Tight end is a label but the tight ends caught 70 balls on this team last year. Being in there to block is something I enjoy doing. If you look at my career at Stanford I had at least two pancakes a game. Being a power forward is a lot like playing tight end."

            The Raiders did not draft Johnson to strengthen their ground attack. Jolley caught 32 passes for 409 yards.

            "We'll meet collectively on how we use Teyo," Oakland offensive coordinator Marc Trestman said. "The biggest thing with blocking is that if a guy wants to become a good blocker, he can be. He's got the size and he's an impressive young man."

            Johnson's selection could signal the end for either Roland Williams or Mondriel Fulcher. After all, teams are not going to cut a second round draft choice unless he totally flops. Williams finished the season on injured reserve after sustaining a knee and toe injury. Fulcher was placed on injured reserve after sustaining a knee injury in training camp. Williams, however, could be expendable because of his salary cap figure.

            Johnson also envisions himself presenting similar matchup problems for defenses as Jolley.

            "They created mismatches by moving him around," Johnson said. "I think I'm a huge mismatch against any linebacker, defensive back or safety. The coaches are here to put me in a position to utilize my size speed and hands."

 

Vince D'Adamo can be reached via e-mail at vdad7@yahoo.com

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