The Steelers do one thing as well if not better than every other team in the NFL, develop wide receivers. As if having Diontae Johnson, Chase Claypool, and rookies George Pickens and Calvin Austin weren’t enough, the Steelers added more firepower to their aerial assault.
After going undrafted out of Notre Dame, Javon McKinley spent most of the 2021 season on the Detroit Lions practice squad. He was released in May, but now McKinley gets another shot as the Steelers signed him on Monday. Rookie linebacker Tyree Johnson was waived to make room for McKinley.
McKinley played in six games as a freshman for the Irish before breaking his fibula in practice, an injury that also cost him his sophomore year. He played in just four games as a junior, then things picked up for the Corona, California native.
After 11 receptions for 268 yards and four touchdowns in 2019, McKinley used his fifth year of eligibility the following season. It paid off as McKinley hauled in 42 passes for 717 yards and three touchdowns and was named honorable mention All-ACC.
The NFL hasn’t been as kind to McKinley. He’s yet to log a snap of any kind in a game thus far. However, with the Steelers’ history of molding talent at the wide receiver position, McKinley is in good hands and may be able to tap into his potential and finally make an appearance when the games matter.
Feature image via Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports