Vance Johnson
Vance Johnson “The Vance” was born on March 13, 1963 in Trenton, New Jersey. The 5-11 185 pound Johnson was drafted by the Denver Broncos in round 2, pick 31 overall of the 1985 NFL Draft. Johnson was a speedster out of Arizona where he played his college football as a wide receiver. Johnson claims he was clocked running a 4.12 40 yard dash. Just weeks after knee surgery, Johnson was clocked at 4.28. Vance Johnson loves speed,” he said recently. “I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't run fast.” (1)

Vance Johnson #82

Player Info

Height 5' 11"
Weight 185 lbs
DOB: 3/13/1963
Wide Receiver


NFL Draft

1985/Round 2/Pick 31

Career Highlights

1989 Season 76 catches for 1095 yards 7 touchdowns

Team(s) As A Player

Denver Broncos 1985-1995

Vance Johnson’s Break out Season

The 1989 season was a special one for Vance Johnson. After a serious knee injury slowed him in 1987, Johnson was back to full speed, or at least close enough in 1989.  For the year he caught 76 passes for 1095 yards and 7 touchdowns. “He runs, jumps, changes directions,” Chan Gailey the Broncos’ offensive coordinator said. “He's really an exceptional athlete. I'm not going to go out and say he's the best athlete, but he's got some things about him that make him unique from the other guys. He has great quickness and great hands. Those two things enable him to get open quite a bit.” (2) “Vance is having a great year,” said John Elway. “He's getting open and I'm able to find him. He's really playing hard.” (3)

On November 26, 1989 the Denver Broncos hosted the Seattle Seahawks. Vance Johnson had a career day, or should we say a career half. With Denver leading 38-0 at the half, Johnson didn’t even play the second half. “The Vance” caught 6 passes for 154 yards and scored two touchdowns. “Today represents a comeback for me. Personally, this was fun redeeming myself, because when I dropped that touchdown pass on Monday Night Football, it hurt,” said Johnson.  “I felt good out there today. I just had a feeling I was ready for a big day. I felt it.” (3)

Vance Johnson’s Career

Over Vance Johnson’s career he caught 415 passes for 5695 yards and scored 37 touchdowns. He added 17 carries for 44 yards on the ground. In the post season, he hauled in 40 balls for 715 yards and 4 touchdowns. “The Vance” was part of the “Three Amigos” in Denver with Mark Jackson and Rickey Nattiel.

By A. Goodin,
May 25, 2008

Vance Johnson Biography Sources:

(1) JOHNSON REVS AFTERBURNERS (1987, January 20) The Boston Globe
Pro Bowl Trip is One Catch Johnson Covets / Broncos Receiver Feels Sting of 1989 Snub (1990, September 28) Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph
Vance Fits Career Day into One Half/ Johnson's Performance a `Comeback' (1989, November 27) Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph

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