PITTSBURGH – The Steelers are one of the greatest franchises in all of sports. They are doing everything the right way. Whether that be through the draft, developing players, or through free agency. It just means something different to be a Steeler. Players take that with pride.
In 2010, the Steelers took a flyer on a receiver from Central Michigan. In the sixth round, with the 195th pick, Antonio Brown would join Pittsburgh.
In 2019, the Steelers kind of did the same thing. They drafted a receiver and got a great return on investment. Diontae Johnson, the 2019 third-rounder, turned out to be worth far more than his draft position.
PFF re-draft has Steelers receiver going higher
In 2019, the Steelers ended up trading up in the first round for Devin Bush, the linebacker from LSU. Bush has been great for Pittsburgh, and they got him when they were in desperate need of a linebacker.
They ended up going with a receiver in the third round and grabbed Diontae Johnson with the 66th pick. Since being drafted, Johnson has been great, especially last year when he submitted himself into another tear of wide receivers.
Per Pro Football Focus, Johnson finished with 166 targets, which was second among all receivers in 2021. With 107 receptions, Johnson finished fifth among receivers in that department. Of course, he was able to snag eight touchdowns as well, along with 1,161 receiving yards, eighth in the NFL among receivers.
The Steelers original pick was at 20. In this PFF re-draft, analyst Trevor Sikkema has the Steelers taking Johnson at 20, which shows how the Steelers straight-up stole Johson in the third round.
Here is what Sikkema said in the PFF re-draft:
“The Steelers traded from No. 20 to No. 10 on draft day to move up for linebacker Devin Bush, who is still available here at No. 20 in the reset of the order. Bush hasn’t exactly lived up to a first-round billing, both in play and availability. The player Pittsburgh selected later in this draft, Diontae Johnson, actually feels perfect for them here at No. 20 given the players who are left. Johnson has quietly, at least it seems, recorded over 2000 yards and 15 touchdowns as a pass-catcher over the past two seasons with sub-par quarterback play.”
This draft pick is justified by the fact that Johnson is the best available in the re-draft, considering what he has done over the last two years.
While he may not have been the best receiver in his draft class, Johnson is definitely a first-round talent, that was taken in the third. Thanks to the Steelers front office, fans can sleep well at night knowing their franchise has done it yet again.
Last year was an amazing season, which somewhat catapulted Johnson onto the scene. Now, it’s just about stacking more production on a consistent basis.
You can read the rest of the PFF article, here.
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