Johnson and Marshall incomparable

Both players have good hands.

Each has dropped 10 passes this year, according to STATS. But that's understandable considering the number of passes coming their way. Marshall has had a drop on 5.6 percent of the balls thrown to him; Johnson on 5.3 percent.

What is interesting is Marshall's hands are more reliable on certain routes and Johnson's on others.

"Brandon has better, stronger more consistent hands and is at his best in jump situations or when he is posted up facing the QB," the general manager said. "Calvin appears to have the edge in some over the shoulder situations and the off target, contested end zone catch."

Yards after catch

Both are proficient in this area, but in different ways. Johnson is more likely to run away from defenders with a sudden first step and finishing speed; Marshall uses his strong lower body and balance to break tackles better.

But Marshall is more likely eventually to get caught.

Johnson is averaging 4.45 yards after the catch this season, Marshall 3.13.

"Brandon is better after the catch," Winfield said. "He runs short routes, screens, and then you see him running down the sideline. He's very elusive for his size, and strong with great quickness."

Competitiveness

There is nothing lacking about Johnson's competitiveness, but no wide receiver is more competitive than Marshall.

On contested passes, Marshall plays stronger and with more determination, according to the GM.

Marshall, who played safety at Central Florida for a spell, sometimes plays with the mindset of a defender, coming back to the ball and breaking up potential interceptions as well as anyone. Even though Marshall does not have Johnson's hops, it's difficult for anyone to win a jump ball against him.

Marshall, whose nickname is "Beast," also is a superior blocker. Marshall seems to relish getting a chance to take defenders out of plays.

Johnson has some physical gifts Marshall doesn't possess. That, in part, was why Johnson was the second overall draft pick in 2007 and Marshall was the 119th pick in 2006.

But because of the rare passion and grit with which Marshall plays, he is not far behind Johnson in terms of his impact on his team.

dpompei@tribune.com

Twitter @danpompei

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