Pittsburgh Steelers: Diontae Johnson set up for breakout sophomore year

Expect Diontae Johnson to be a major breakout player for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020.

Getting Ben Roethlisberger back and healthy will obviously be key for the Pittsburgh Steelers and no player is set to benefit more than second-year wide receiver Diontae Johnson. The Steelers took Johnson in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft and he came in and made an immediate impact for the team. As a rookie last season, Johnson piled up 59 receptions for 680 yards and five touchdowns.

The Pittsburgh Steelers undoubtedly know how to find undervalued talent at the wide receiver position and Johnson could be their next hidden gem. He put up strong production as a rookie catching passes from Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges, and caught 91% of the catchable targets thrown to him, according to PFF. Just imagine what he can do with a full season with Roethlisberger throwing him the ball.

Johnson is an extremely quick and shifty receiver who consistently finds space in his routes. He has an impressive release at the line of scrimmage, is extremely quick in and out of his cuts and accelerates at an extremely high level.

He is a high-level route runner who can create consistent separation at all times and that was consistently shown during his rookie season. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Johnson averaged 3.6 yards of separation for each target in 2019, the most of any wide receiver in the entire NFL. Make no mistake about it, this guy knows how to get open.

Once the ball is in his hands, Johnson uses his impressive agility and sudden explosiveness to create after the catch. He is a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands who is a threat to take it to the house from anywhere on the field.

Johnson was an incredibly exciting prospect coming out of college and his first season in the league should only help build the excitement around him. If the Steelers get a full, healthy season out of Roethlisberger, Johnson could absolutely blow up into a star receiver in their offense.