It was a good week for Diontae Johnson, to say the least. The Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver totaled 163 all-purpose yards with two touchdowns during Sunday’s win against the Arizona Cardinals, including an 85-yard punt return for a touchdown, and a two-year touchdown reception, which was his first in six weeks.
The third-round pick out of Toledo had largely grown stagnant in his production over the previous month and a half, but burst back onto the season with a great performance out west, including 60 yards on six receptions and a 16-yard end-around carry.
It was enough to earn him a spot on Pro Football Focus’ Team of the Week for Week 14, the second week in a row in which a young Steelers receiver was featured on the Team of the Week. James Washington, with his four-catch, 111-yard, one-touchdown showing against the Cleveland Browns, earned a spot on the list last week. The article reads:
Yet another rookie on the squad. Johnson may not have put up gaudy numbers, with only six catches for 60 yards, but his four broken tackles were tied with Brown for the most this week. He added a score and caught his only contested target, as well.
That would be A.J. Brown, the rookie wide receiver for the Tennessee Titans, who was the other wide receiver named to PFF’s Team of the Week this week. He caught five passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns in their win over the Oakland Raiders, including a 91-yard score.
As for Johnson, he now has 42 receptions on the season for 483 yards and four touchdowns. He leads the Steelers in both receptions and touchdown receptions, and is third in yards behind Washington and JuJu Smith-Schuster. He also has four carries for 41 yards.
The Steelers drafted Johnson with the 66th-overall pick, the first of two selections that they received from the Raiders in exchange for Antonio Brown. The rookie was seen as bearing a number of similarities to Brown coming out of college, so it was fitting that he would come to the team in that manner.
Brown didn’t play much during his rookie season, in contrast to Johnson, who has already seen over 600 snaps. Things might have gone differently had Donte Moncrief actually panned out, but given that it didn’t, the window of opportunity was left wide open for him, and he took advantage.