Cardinals’ KeeSean Johnson earns praise from Keim, Kingsbury

Jul 29, 2019, 2:56 PM
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver KeeSean Johnson (19) makes a leaping catch in front of Cardinals de...
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver KeeSean Johnson (19) makes a leaping catch in front of Cardinals defensive back Tramaine Brock (20) during NFL football practice at State Farm Stadium Friday, July 26, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Cardinals are going to need good wide receivers if they plan to use them heavily in this new-look, innovative Kliff Kingsbury offense.

There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is there are few wide receivers on the roster who have truly proven themselves in the NFL, but the good news is that the team loaded up on promising pass-catchers in this year’s draft. One of those is already garnering attention from the Cardinals higher-ups at training camp.

KeeSean Johnson, the team’s fourth-round pick this year, has received praise from Kingsbury and GM Steve Keim.

“So far, early on, KeeSean Johnson has looked fantastic,” Keim told NFL Network on Sunday. “He’s a guy that I think could break out as a rookie. He’s a really natural runner, a natural route-runner. To me, one of the best route-runners in the draft. To be able to get him on later on day three was a good get.”

Johnson joins Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler as part of a trio of wide receivers the Cardinals selected in this year’s draft. It’s a testament to what Johnson has done in camp so far that he was the last receiver taken of those three, but nonetheless is getting attention from his bosses.

“He’s picked up the system really, really quickly,” Kingsbury said Sunday. “He’s a smooth route-runner. We knew that coming out. We thought he was one of the top two pure route-runners in the draft, and it shows.

“He can get in and out of breaks. Great hands, competitive catches, as you’ve seen throughout the first couple days. So he’s got to keep working, got to get stronger. Got to continue to hone his craft. But he’s a football player and he’s off to a solid start.”

Johnson, the 174th overall pick in the sixth round of this year’s draft, attended Fresno State. In four years there, the 6-foot-1 wide receiver had 3,463 yards with back-to-back 1,000-plus yard seasons to finish his college career.

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