WR Calvin Johnson, Free agent

HT: 6-5, WT: 235, Born: 9-25-1985, College: Georgia Tech, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 2

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2014 Projections

David Dodds15.
Bob Henry15.
Jason Wood16.
Maurile Tremblay16.00.000.0102.0166916.411.0233

Average draft position

Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]

Overall: A Peterson (3), M Forte (4), Calvin Johnson (5), E Lacy (6), P Manning (7)
Position: Calvin Johnson (5 - WR1), D Thomas (9-WR2), D Bryant (11-WR3)
Click here for a comparison of these players.

PPR Average draft position

Current as of August 25th. [Full PPR ADP list]

Overall: A Peterson (3), M Forte (4), Calvin Johnson (5), E Lacy (6), D Thomas (7)
Position: Calvin Johnson (5 - WR1), D Thomas (7-WR2), D Bryant (9-WR3)
Click here for a comparison of these players.

Best Case

Calvin Johnson missed two games last year and still was one of the best receivers in the game. Despite Ďonlyí 84 receptions, he still finished with almost 1500 yards receiving and 12 trips to the end zone. This season, the Lions will line up Golden Tate, trying to draw the double and triple teams away from Johnson. With Reggie Bush coming out of the backfield and a dual threat at Tight End, Johnson could return to his place at the top of the NFL receiving charts again this season.

Worst Case

Johnsonís worst case is still better than most of the guys in the league. Heís never played in fewer than 14 games in any season and he did pretty well with that last year. Golden Tate isnít going to turn into a 1200 yard, 10 TD receiver on the opposite side of the field, so Johnson will still be one of the best receivers in the league. A top flight receiver, no matter what the situation.


Johnson is in the prime of his career, and even when he misses two games, he still posts 1500 yards and double digit touchdowns. Golden Tate give the Lions an extra weapon, but heís not going to steal a ton of stats from Johnson this season. He may not have 120 receptions this season, but Johnsonís big play ability and red zone excellence will make him one of the top receivers in the league. Again.

2014 Schedule


2013 Game Summaries

Week 1 - After being held out of the preseason, Johnson looked a tad rusty of the gate against the Vikings. He dropped an easy slant on the first play of the game before getting into the flow of the offense. Two potential touchdowns were missed on the day as Johnson continued the trend from 2012, when he had just five scores on the season. Johnson had a tremendous red zone catch at full-extension, but a review showed that he bobbled the ball against the ground before completing the catch. Later in the game, Johnson made a great catch as he elevated in the back of the end zone, but his second foot came down on the out-of-bounds line. Over the last quarter and a half, Johnson was not a big part of the offense as the run game controlled the clock for the Detroit offense.

Week 2 - After a first quarter with no targets, Johnson broke out before the half with two touchdowns. Stafford threaded a pass between two defenders and Johnson was off to the races in the open field, beating the defense the length of the field for the long touchdown. Patrick Peterson, who was matched up against Johnson most of the day, looked surprised that the pass got to Johnson through the traffic and was no match in a race for the end zone. On a well-designed play in the red zone, Johnson ran to the corner of the end zone, gaining separation through the route combination on that side of the field. Johnson had most of his production in that quarter alone as Detroit grabbed an early lead. In the second half, the Lions offense sputtered as did the early-game chemistry between Johnson and Stafford. Johnson totaled just one reception in the final 30 minutes, while he was stuffed on a third-down screen pass to halt a drive in field goal range and dropped a pass on the final drive. While Johnson dominated at times against Arizona, he was largely invisible for three quarters and had the potential for a much bigger game.

Week 3 - Johnson was an active target in the passing game with a season-high 13 targets against Washington. Stafford was not shy about throwing into tight coverage. That boldness was rewarded with a long touchdown last week and it was a fixture for the pair this week. Johnson got off to a slow start as DeAngelo Hall bumped him off a slant route, intercepted the pass, and returned it for a touchdown early in the game. At the time Detroit had all the momentum and that was the one play that kept the game close. Johnson got on track with tough catches over the middle in tight coverage. On a red zone drive late in the second quarter, Stafford targeted Johnson three times, all potential touchdowns, to no avail. None were classified as easy pitch-and-catch opportunities, but Detroit had to settle for a field goal. Late in the game, Johnson seals the win with a red zone slant to put the Lions up by ten points with just four minutes to play. There were chances for Johnson to had a few more receptions and another touchdown or two despite the already impressive day.

Week 4 - Johnson has historically struggled after the Bears compared to other teams and this week was no exception. This time it was the inaccuracy of Mathew Stafford that led to a handful of missed opportunities. Johnson converted a goal line fade route into a touchdown, but he outright dropped a target in the back of the end zone on another drive and Stafford missed him wide open on a red zone slant. Stafford and Johnson make those two connections a large majority of the time and this week both came up as empty opportunities. Johnson took a big hit on an early slant route, but he did not appear physically compromised as the game progressed. He was integral to a few of Reggie Bushís big gains as a stout blocker down the field.

Week 6 - After a surprise missed game last week, Johnson was in the lineup for his matchup with Joe Haden most of the game against Cleveland this week. Johnson played about half of the snaps, but logged eight targets in his situational role. Johnson missed practice this week and the lack of chemistry with Matthew Stafford showed. Johnson dropped two routine passes, including one in the end zone. A locked-in Calvin Johnson makes those plays. Stafford was off-target on two third downs to Johnson. On a fade route in the end zone, Johnson drew a defensive pass interference penalty on Haden, leading to a Detroit touchdown on the drive. The Lions offense found its groove in the second half, but it was an underwhelming game for Johnson where he only converted non-essential targets for short gains this week.

Week 7 - Johnson appeared back to full strength against Cincinnati. He was heavily-targeted regardless of the attention from the secondary. Johnson had a huge game, but there were numerous opportunities for big plays that were inaccurate throws from Mathew Stafford or broken up by defensive backs. Johnson had a deep target down the sidelines, a one-handed catch, ruled a reception on the field, but reversed upon review. A big hit dislodged a potential touchdown on a target over the middle at the goal line later in the game. After some missed chances early in the game, Johnson and Stafford were on their game when it mattered most. The pair connected for a back-shoulder goal line fade to close the gap in the third quarter. Finally, Johnson caught a deep hail mary-type play from midfield for a game-tying touchdown. Stafford circled the pocket, and then uncorked a pass for Johnson amidst triple coverage in the end zone. Johnson high-pointed the pass, using his entire 6í5Ē frame for the much-needed touchdown. This was the type of game that Johnson is capable of any given week as one of the elite receivers in the NFL.

Week 8 - It was a record-setting day for Johnson as he caught all but two of his targets for well over 300 receiving yards. One of his two targets that did not result in a catch was an errant pass from Stafford deep down the sidelines. In the first half alone, Johnson amassed 156 yards and a touchdown, but the second half was when he made his biggest impact. Johnson contributed to the four Detroit turnovers with a fumble after a catch down the field as well as a tipped pass on one of his targets. After those mistakes, Johnson was unstoppable. He created separation on deep routes with regularity and no combination of defensive backs could prevent Johnson from snaring passes at their highest point. Twice in the second half Johnson was tackled at the one-yard-line, one coming on the play before Matthew Stafford leaped over the goal line for the game-winning score. Considering Johnsonís missed sidelines catch and two near-touchdowns, his colossal day could have been even better.

Week 10 - Johnson squared off against Charles Tillman and the Bears this week, one of the more difficult matchups for him over his productive career. Matthew Stafford targeted Johnson 17 times, a season-high, and the third straight game of 15 or more as Johnson added another two scores including one to ice the game in the fourth quarter. Tillman was in and out of the lineup early in the game with wrist issues, but remained on Johnson most of the game. Johnson did struggle on an efficiency-basis as he dropped on well-thrown target and a few other jump-ball type opportunities ended up as incompletions. When it counted most, Johnson came through with a key third-down conversion with four minutes to play and the touchdown to put Detroit up 21-13 with two minutes to play. When Chicago played zone coverage, Johnson was able to find the open area and, as usual, was borderline unstoppable when high-pointing passes down the field.

Week 11 - Johnson was a dominant force in the first half against Pittsburgh as Detroit built its lead on the road. While Ike Taylor had his share of victories on Johnsonís targets with tipped passes and a near interception on a slant route, the sheer volume of targets led to a huge day by Johnson. Stafford found Johnson for two touchdowns, including a long catch-and-run where Johnson shook away from Taylor as he raced to the end zone. When Johnson was single covered, more often than not, he made big plays and racked up yards after the catch. After a gameís worth of production in the first 30 minutes, Johnson was held without a catch in the second half. Pittsburgh got more pressure on Stafford in the pocket, which limited the downfield chances in the passing game. Johnson saw a deep target down the sidelines early in the fourth quarter, his first of the second half, which garnered tight coverage and was tipped away. Detroitís backbreaking interception late in the game, sealing the Pittsburgh victory, came when Stafford took a shot to Johnson deep. The roaming safety undercut the route for the easy interception, clinching the win. While Johnson can take over a game at a momentís notice, the on-again, off-again nature of the Detroit offense was on full display this week.

Week 12 - In the anticipated matchup with Darrelle Revis, Johnson had is up-and-down moments. Mathew Stafford missed Johnson twice in the first half, once on a potential long touchdown, where Johnson beat Revis in single coverage. Just before the halftime, Revis left with an injury and did not return. Johnson took advantage with a strong third quarter including a full-extension post reception. On the final drive, Stafford found Johnson in field goal range as he faded back in the pocket. Johnson made a play on the pass, hauled it in, but was belted by a defender to jar the ball loose. The ball popped up in the air and was intercepted, ending Detroitís chances to tie the game. Johnson had a strong game, with the potential for many more yards and a touchdown with accurate throws, in the loss against Tampa Bay.

Week 13 - Johnson was limited in the first half to just two targets, converting both into receptions. He was instrumental on a third quarter touchdown drive with three third down conversions and finishing it off with the score. With the game getting out of hand late, the running game took over for Detroit as Joique Bell and Reggie Bush combined for 39 carries. Despite the 100-yard game, there were plenty of missed opportunities for Johnson including a dropped slant where he ran wide open in addition to Sam Shields taking the ball away from Johnson on a deep end zone target. To add injury to the turnover, Johnsonís knee buckled awkwardly at the conclusion of the play and he sought treatment on the sidelines. That was his final target of the game.

Week 14 - Johnson was one of the biggest victims of the extreme weather conditions against Philadelphia. Stafford struggled to get the ball downfield, including a pass coming up well-short of Johnson in single coverage, a play that would normally be a long gain. It became apparent very early in the game that Johnson would not be as involved as usual. The result was 25 passes as a team with five going to Johnson. On the positive side, two of Johnsonís three receptions converted key third downs as Detroit built its lead early in the game. Ultimately it was an aberration game for Johnson as it was the first time all year he saw less than eight targets and his lowest yardage output since Week six.

Week 15 - Despite nearly 100 yards against the Ravens, it was a game of missed opportunities for Calvin Johnson on the primetime stage. Johnson saw 14 targets, more than twice that of any other Detroit pass-catcher. At times Johnson was a difference-maker with rugged catches in traffic and a full-extension grab. Most of the game, however, Johnson was dropping passes or Matthew Staffordís passes were just out of reach. Three noted drops were on targets that totaled 50-60 yards downfield, two with after-the-catch potential. In addition, Johnson also could not control an accurate back-shoulder target on a two-point attempt late in the game. That play would have given Detroit a three-point lead, which Baltimore would have tied with their long field goal in the final minute. All in all, it was an underwhelming performance by one of the elite receivers in the game.

Week 16 - Johnson was a game-time decision against the Giants with a questionable knee, but gave it a go. Clearly, he was a shell of himself and Johnson saw a season-low four ho-hum targets as a result. Johnson showed good hands on his targets, corralling a back shoulder target down the sideline and a low throw from Stafford on another occasion. On a quick slant route, the Giants defensive back jumped in front of Johnson and nearly came up with the interception at the end of the first half. The rest of the Detroit receivers could not pick up the slack as Johnson did little in the second half of their ultimate elimination game.