One of the top receivers in the NFL since joining the Pittsburgh Steelers as a third-round draft pick in 2019, Diontae Johnson has quickly and quietly thrust himself into legitimate WR1-caliber discussions.
With 254 receptions on 405 targets for 2,764 yards and 20 touchdowns through three seasons with an average of 58.8 yards per game with a catch percentage of 62.7%, Johnson finds himself right up there at the top of the list in production with the likes of the Rams’ Cooper Kupp, Las Vegas’s Davante Adams, Seattle’s Tyler Lockett, Buffalo’s Stefan Diggs, and more.
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) January 17, 2022
Despite seeing the production Johnson has put up in his first three years in the NFL, Pro Football Focus’s Anthony Treash didn’t place Johnson inside his top 32 in his latest wide receiver rankings.
Johnson isn’t an elite wide receiver by any stretch, but the fact that Treash has names like Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Williams, Brandin Cooks, Hunter Renfrow, Tyler Boyd, and Darnell Mooney ahead of him, just to name a few, is quite insane and rather disrespectful to Johnson overall.
Though the argument can be made that Johnson’s production has more to do with volume than actual talent level (not one I’m willing to make), he’s as consistent as they come, even with some drops issues at times. Johnson is an elite-level route runner who also brings some dynamic open-field abilities after the catch with his ability to make defenders miss.
Realistically, Johnson should be slotted somewhere in the 14-18 slot in Treash’s rankings, which falls under Tier 2 of young talents on the cusp of Tier 1 featuring the likes of Washington’s Terry McLaurin and Cincinnati’s Tee Higgins, and Tier 3 of veterans aiming for a bounce back, featuring Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin, New Orleans’ Michael Thomas, and Los Angeles’ Allen Robinson.
Treash’s rankings really brings into question what exactly he’s watching when it comes to the wide receiver position.