Jul 05, 2020
Fresno State senior wide receiver Keesean Johnson catches a pass in the Bulldogs’ 31-13 victory over San Jose State on Nov. 24, 2018(Jose Romo/ The Collegian)

KeeSean Johnson gets drafted in sixth round, Bulldogs sign also as free agents

Fresno State wide receiver KeeSean Johnson will continue donning a red uniform at the next level, as he was drafted on Saturday with the first pick in the 6th round, No. 174 overall, by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Johnson was already thinking about the future and spoke about the Cardinal’s potential to reporters following the 2019 NFL Draft.

“We can be really good,” Johnson said. “We’ve got Kyler Murray at quarterback. We’ve got three receivers we drafted, including myself. We’re going to all come in, and we’re going to compete.”

After taking Kyler Murray with the first overall pick, the Cardinals bolstered their wide receiving core by drafting Andy Isabella out of the University of Massachusetts in the third round and Hakeem Butler of Iowa State in the fourth round. And finally adding Johnson for good measure, as this young group of receivers will now have the opportunity to play with and learn from Cardinal mainstay and NFL legend Larry Fitzgerald.

Johnson will bring along with him quite the collegiate resume following his time with the Bulldogs, as Johnson made history leaving the program as its all-time leader in both career receptions (275) and career receiving yards (3,463) after being its leading receiver in those categories for three-straight seasons, also setting a Fresno State and Mountain West record for most consecutive games with at least one reception, catching a pass in 51 of the 52 career games he played in.

Johnson also showed that he could hang with the best college football had to offer, as he concluded his senior campaign as the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) active career receptions leader and owned the second-most career receiving yards among all active FBS players.

Johnson’s Fresno State career also wrapped up with him catching a pass in 50 consecutive games, which led all FBS players.

As a senior, Johnson recorded the fourth-most receptions in the FBS with 95 and registered the fifth-most receiving yards in the FBS with 1,340, once again garnering him an All-MW second team selection, making it back-to-back selections for both his junior and senior seasons.

For the Bulldogs, the selection of Johnson ends the three-year long drought of not having a player selected in the NFL Draft, after having a then-MW best 15 straight seasons with a player selected in the NFL Draft. The selection gives Fresno State its 106th draft pick in program history.

The 2019 NFL Draft was not as fruitful for Bulldog prospects safety Mike Bell, quarterback Marcus McMaryion and linebacker Jeff Allison. After the 254 pick concluded the draft, neither of the former Bulldog standouts heard their names called during rounds 4-7 on Saturday.

Despite the disappointment of not being drafted, the former ‘Dogs will still have the opportunity to prove themselves and make an NFL roster, as Allison has already been signed as an undrafted free agent by the New York Jets, offensive lineman Micah St. Andrew signed with the Detroit Lions, wide receiver Jamire Jordan signed with the Kansas City Chiefs and Tank Kelly signed with the Baltimore Ravens.

Both Bell and McMaryion are stilling hoping to get a few looks by NFL teams, and given their resumes and proven ability to play on the field, they may be hearing from NFL teams calling in the next couple of days.

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