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While fans call the Diontae Johnson pick a reach, Darryl Drake said Tampa Bay was poised to take him

The Steelers know how to draft WRs, but even the most devout fan was scratching their head when they picked Diontae Johnson in the 3rd round.

NCAA Football: Northern Illinois at Toledo Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers know how to draft wide receivers. This should be well known by now, but it doesn’t stop the fan base from getting frustrated at times. One of those times was during the 2019 NFL Draft when the team took Toledo wide receiver Diontae Johnson with their first of two third round selections.

Message boards everywhere saw the dreaded ‘R’ word being used with an incredible frequency.

That word — REACH.

However, after the selection Darryl Drake, wide receiver coach, took to the podium and spoke glowingly of Johnson. Not just as a player, but as a person.

But back to the fact many are seeing Johnson’s selection as a reach. According to Drake, when the Steelers made the pick the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were furious due to the fact they were planning on taking Johnson with their next pick.

In other words, the Steelers didn’t feel Johnson would make it to their second third round pick, and they coveted him making the pick a no-brainer.

Letting this come full circle, if there is a fan base who should trust their favorite team when it comes to drafting wide receivers, it should be Steelers fans. I recall when the team selected JuJu Smith-Schuster in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, and many fans were saying the same stuff.


“This guy?”

“What a reach!”

Seems as if that pick turned out just fine, didn’t it?

While websites like CBS Sports will bash this selection, citing them having Johnson as No. 237 on their overall Big Board, black-and-gold fans should remember what team they root for. If there is one thing Steelers fans should always remember is they know what they are doing when it comes to pass catchers.

Trust the process and see how this pans out.