Many NFL Draft experts are enamored with grades after the draft process has concluded. We here at this establishment are as guilty as any, but sometimes what matters the most is the overall “fit” with a team.
This terms is clearly referring to how the athlete’s skill set translates with how the team likes to do business. For instance, a 4-3 defensive end isn’t always going to transition well to a 3-4 outside linebacker. Therefore, this wouldn’t always be considered a good “fit”.
The fine folks at Pro Football Focus recently ranked the best fits of the 2019 NFL Draft, and low and behold there was a Steelers draft selection who made the cut. None other than Toledo wide receiver Diontae Johnson.
See what PFF had to say about Johnson, and why he is such a good fit for the black-and-gold offense.
WR DIONTAE JOHNSON, PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Prior to the draft, we compared Johnson to former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, so the fit here is obvious. We’re not predicting a Hall-of-Fame career for Johnson, but he adds sharp-cutting route running and a knack for getting open that the Steelers need to tap into with Brown’s departure. Johnson has a path to the field immediately given the inconsistency surrounding the rest of the receiving corps around JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Ben Roethlisberger may have a new favorite weapon in short time.
The path to the field is certainly available, but not certain for Johnson. If the team has him as only a slot receiver, he will have to be out the likes of Eli Rogers and Ryan Switzer to get snaps in that regard. Considering he can play the outside as well, Donte Moncrief and James Washington stand in the way of him becoming a fixture for Ben Roethlisberger in the offense.
If you look at the names I just mentioned, it goes to show there is a chance Johnson can impress and see more snaps, but the reality is although the fit might be there, nothing is certain for the rookie wide receiver on Day 1.
The fact Johnson plays special teams is a huge bonus for his playing time, but even in this position he will have to show he can bring more to the table than Switzer, considering Switzer handled both kickoff and punt return duties in 2018.
Fans should be excited to see Johnson, not just because he has many of the traits Antonio Brown has/had coming out of Central Michigan, but because he could be a valuable weapon in Randy Fichtner’s offense. His route running, quick cutting ability will work well alongside JuJu Smith-Schuster in a scheme which should result in severe matchups for opposing defenses.
What are your expectations for Johnson in 2019? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned into BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they head into offseason workouts.