In case you didn’t know, the Pittsburgh Steelers will return to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA in exactly 8 days of this article being published. With that, I decided to revive an old series we used to do as a lead up to training camp.
30 predictions in 30 days.
Myself and Simon Chester are alternating days giving a prediction for the upcoming season. Some will be team oriented, while others will be specific to individual players. Either way, read on to see the reason why we think today’s prediction will come to fruition, and why it might not come true. Give your thoughts in the comment section below the article.
Training camp is almost here! Here We Go!
Prediction: Rookie WR Diontae Johnson will crush James Washington’s rookie stats in 2019.
Why it will happen: First things first, James Washington didn’t light up the stat sheet in 2018, his rookie season. He finished the year with 16 catches for 217 yards and one touchdown. His longest catch was for 47 yards.
When you look at Johnson’s versatility to play both inside and outside, and is considered one of the best route running receivers in the 2019 NFL Draft, all he would have to do is beat out one of the experienced receivers ahead of him, becoming a regular player, and besting Washington’s numbers should be a breeze.
If Johnson can see the field with any amount of regularity, and as you will see below that might be more difficult than it may sound, he should have no problem besting Washington’s mundane rookie numbers.
Why it won’t happen: I blame a lot of this on JuJu Smith-Schuster. Before JuJu, the expectations for rookie receivers were low. Then here comes Smith-Schuster who would have theoretically caught over 1,000 yards his rookie season had he not gotten suspended for one game. Now, any receiver drafted is expected to burst onto the scene and be a playmaker from Day 1.
Washington didn’t fall into that category, and there is nothing that says Diontae Johnson will fall into the JuJu mold. Throw in the fact the Steelers’ depth chart will be tough for Johnson to crack, and there is no guarantee Johnson will do much more than Washington did in his first season as a professional.
Johnson might be on more of the Antonio Brown path. Brown’s rookie season he played in just 9 games, had 16 catches on 19 targets for 167 yards receiving and no touchdowns.
Catching 217 yards receiving and one touchdown might not seem like a huge deal, but it might be more difficult than what meets the eye.
What are your thoughts on this prediction? Do you think it will happen? Or are we crazy? Let us know by voting in the poll, and letting your voice be heard in the comment section below!
Will Diontae Johnson best James Washington’s rookie stats?
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