Johnson, Andre

Cards: Score 2009 Franchise,Score 2009, Apex 2010
Acquired: TTM 2009,2011, Texans Blitz

With the 3rd pick of the 2003 draft, the Houston Texans select: Charles Rogers, WR ,Michigan State. One shudders when they think that the Houston Texans draft could’ve gone down like this. With Carson Palmer being a slam dunk to the Bengals, the question now was: What would the Lions do? Leading up to the draft, the Lions (who were embarking on a love affair with wide receivers under Matt Millen) and the Texans, held the #2 and #3 overall draft cards respectively. Both teams desperately needed a wide receiver. The Lions fell in love with Rogers, who had drawn comparisons to Randy Moss and made the pick.  The Texans hopped, skipped and jumped to the podium to grab Johnson with the #3 pick. Andre has become one of the most feared and consistent receivers in the NFL since then, while Rogers is no longer in the league and is widely considered a bust.

While narrowly missing 1000 yards his rookie season in 2003, Johnson asserted himself almost immediately as the team’s #1 receiver and a solid blue chip establishing a solid rapport with starting quarterback David Carr. He’d set multiple team records for the young franchise that season. His 2004 was more impressive as he grabbed 79 balls for over 1100 yards and 6 TDs. Andre would be named to his first ProBowl after that season. 2005 would be a disappointment for Johnson as an injury would largely decimate his season and he’d finish with 688 yards, but 2006 he’d return to form shattering all the receiving records for the Texans again with 103 catches and 1147 yards.  Andre in 2007 would miss a good portion of the season again to injury- but he’d quickly return to form and made a career high 8 touchdown grabs working with new quarterback Matt Schaub. (Over the last 4 seasons, since Matt Schaub joined the team, Andre Johnson has averaged nearly 100 yards per game.) 2008  would be bellweather season for Andre, making over 100 grabs again, and over 1500 yards receiving, but his 2009 would be even more amazing duplicating the 1500 yard effort and 100 catches. He’d also snag a career high 9 td grabs.  Johnson would join Jerry Rice as the only players to lead the NFL in back to back seasons in both catches and yards. 2010, would see a nagging ankle injury from week 2 slow him down, causing the prolific receiver to miss 3 games, but still log 86 catches and over 1200 yards receiving.

I always draft the soft-spoken Johnson whenever I can. In 2009, I had both Johnson and Schaub handcuffing each other for additional points, grabbing Andre in the back end of the first round and Schaub in the 5th. As of the time of this post, I am still awaiting a blitz of autographs from the team that include Johnson. The Apex card was part of a set of cards I designed from the Topps website, and I used Photoshop to make Andre look like he was in the Pasadena Riders uniform.

G/Gs 115    Rec 673   Yds  9164  Avg 13.6    Td 50     Lg 77t