Giants Hoping to Unleash Big Red Zone Threat on Opponents


Giants Hoping to Unleash Big Red Zone Threat on Opponents

Theo Johnson hopes to use his size to become a subtle scorer for the New York Giants 

At 6-6 and 250 lbs., it’s not easy for newly minted New York Giants tight end Theo Johnson to get lost in a crowd. Somehow, he’s managed to score 11 receiving touchdowns over the last two seasons at Penn State University.


Johnson was the first pick by the Giants’ final day of the 2024 NFL Draft. Still, there’s a chance the fourth-rounder will have a lot of action coming his way if Darren Waller decides to call it a career. 



But even before Waller decided to mull his future, the Giants’ need for a big-bodied target in the red zone was almost as glaring of a need as was landing a No. 1 receiver 

That’s what they’re getting in Johnson, who was part of a Nittany Lions offense that ranked third nationwide in red zone scoring with 61 scores, 24 of which were passing touchdowns.


Johnson told reporters on the final day of the Giants rookie minicamp that he wants to use the 2024 season for improvement as he embarks on his maiden NFL voyage.  


“I think I have tremendous room to improve. I think I can grow a lot more than where I’m at right now,” Johnson said after the team went through its second and final practice of the two-day rookie minicamp. 


“That’s why I’m so excited. I’m coming in here with a learning mindset. I want to develop respect from my teammates and my coaches, and I think that’s going to help me continue to grow and improve.


“I’m super excited to get to work and get going here because I think I have the potential to be a really special player here.”


Penn State tight end Theo Johnson  

Penn State tight end Theo Johnson / Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Giants will no doubt revel in Johnson’s box score contributions, especially when considering the relatively meager state of their offense from last year. 


Johnson already knows that part of his game will be relied upon as things press forward. He also hopes to become a mainstay in the Giants’ blocking schemes, which would help a Saquon Barkley-less run game find its footing. 


Johnson humorously noted that he had always been aware of pairing his size with his physicality, and now he’s hoping to introduce professional opponents to the concept.


“I mean, it’s never been a surprise to me. I’ve kind of always known that about myself,” Johnson said of his physique. But based on what people have said about me, maybe people will be surprised about that. It’s something I’ve always known, and the people I’ve worked with closely have known. It’s just a matter of showing it to everybody else.”


Those seeking proof of Johnson’s impact on the Penn State offense can find instant gratification on the Big Ten rushing ledgers: Penn State was second in the conference in yards on the ground, behind only national champion Michigan, and stood at the top with an average carry of 4.6.


“He’s smart. He’s a young professional, a true pro, loves the game,” head coach Brian Daboll said of Johnson, whose son Christian, now a member of the Giants’ staff, was with Penn State earlier in Johnson’s time there. 


“Has good size. Can bend. Can run. Obviously tested really well, but had a really good pro day, too, at Penn State, moving around, running his routes, hitting the bag. You can only get so much out of it. You can tell his bend, you can tell he’s athletic. He’s

a good guy we thought we could work with.”

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *