As the Steelers hope to remain a competitor in the AFC, they need a star receiver to be consistent in the passing game.
For eight months, the Pittsburgh Steelers went from the last undefeated team in the NFL to now holding on to relevance in the AFC North. Of course, losing names in free agency and retirement plays a role.
The Steelers hope to maintain their status as a top team at the conference in 2021. Overall, the division has become stronger with the Steelers’ decline. The team lost three offensive linemen and several defensive players. Meanwhile, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Cleveland improved.
The 2021 season will be the steel curtain Ben Roethlisberger. One season after undergoing major elbow surgery, the 39-year-old team led to an 11-0 start and the best record in football. At the end of the season, he averaged 6.3 yards per game. Throw and commit turnover left and right.
Roethlisberger will be investigated, but his career is coming to an end. Another player under the microscope who just started? Diontae Johnson. He is the name to step up before the end of the season.
Steelers: Johnson’s drops could cost him an extension
Overall, Johnson’s production has proven that he can be a No. 1 recipient. Once pulled out of Toledo, he led Pittsburgh in 2019 with five touchdowns. In Year 2, the Johnson Steelers led with 923 yards and seven touchdowns.
Looking ahead, Johnson has the potential to be a high-end star in the passing game due to his route driving and speed. The largest is dependent on the recipient’s largest asset – his hands.
In 2019, he finished with six passes on the campaign. Last season, he led the NFL with 14 passes and struggled in short yardage situations.
Johnson has led the NFL over the past two seasons combined in dropped catchy balls. With JuJu Smith-Schuster returning on a one-year, proof-it deal and James Washington on a contract season, a receiver will be left in the dark when it comes to overtime. The more drops Johnson has, the less chance he has of earning another contract.
Johnson for two years has shown he is a high-end target for the Steelers’ pass-heavy offense. He is not a complete receiver due to easy passes falling to the ground instead of a positive win. If the drops continue, expect Johnson’s days in Pittsburgh to be limited after 2022.