The Pittsburgh Steelers still have a talented group of wide receivers this summer despite the trading away of Antonio Brown in March and after the team’s Wednesday OTA practice, backup quarterback Joshua Dobbs gave an overview of that particular position group.
“Yeah, there’s some dynamic players,” Dobbs said, according to audio on 93.7 The Fan. “Of course there’s JuJu [Smith-Schuster]. James [Washington] has taken a lot of steps in the right direction. Ryan Switzer’s a matchup issue. Eli [Rogers]. New additions like Donte [Moncrief], you know, he’s definitely come in and is making an impact early and often and catching a lot of balls. And then we have a lot of new guys that have come in and are really doing a great job making plays for us at quarterback, given us confidence. So we’re excited to see how that room shapes out.”
While Dobbs didn’t mention the Steelers rookie wide receiver Diontae Johnson, the team’s first of two third-round selections this year, during that rundown of players, he did mention the Toledo product earlier in his Wednesday interview.
“Diontae [Johnson] is pretty special as well,” Dobbs said. “He’s a tough guy to guard. I can just tell by the reaction from the defenders. And he seems to catch everything thrown in his direction. So, those are guys that you look forward to get the balls in their hands and let them just go make a play.”
In addition to him thinking that he has a great group of wide receivers to throw to throughout the remainder of the summer, Dobbs also likes the overall demeanor of the group as well.
“I think what’s also great is, they’re great players, but they also have a great camaraderie in that room,” Dobbs said. “And I think that’s what helps them not only compete with each other on a daily basis but push each other to get better. And that helps us at the quarterback position as well.”
Not only do the Steelers have the wide receivers that Dobbs rattled off on Wednesday on their offseason roster, they also have a few more talented players that play that position in Diontae Spencer, Trey Griffey, Johnny Holton and Tevin Jones and all four have some level of experience at the professional level.
Spencer, who has never played in as much as one a preseason game since going undrafted in 2014, has played in 57 total games in the CFL with two different teams over the course of the last four seasons on his way to registering 259 total receptions for 3,137 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Holton, on the other hand, has some limited NFL game experience on his resume as the former undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati previously spent time on the rosters of the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders and has caught 11 passes for 252 yards and 3 touchdowns.
As for the other two young wide receivers not mentioned Wednesday by Dobbs, Griffey and Jones, both were with the Steelers last year during training camp and the preseason and both ultimately landed on the team’s practice squad last September and remained there all season. Griffey caught 4 passes for 44 yards last year during the preseason while Jones registered 4 catches for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Steelers will keep at least five wide receivers on their 53-man roster to start the 2019 regular season and possible even as many as six. While JuJu Smith-Schuster, Donte Moncrief, James Washington and Johnson should account for four of those spots, the other one or two spots on the 53-man roster figure to potentially filled by Ryan Switzer, Eli Rogers, Spencer, Holton, Griffey or Jones. All things considered, that’s not a bad looking group of 10 wide receivers for Dobbs and the rest of the Steelers quarterbacks to work with the remainder of the summer.