Welcome to Going For Two! Over the 45 days leading up to the Pittsburgh Steelers 2022 training camp, we will be highlighting two players every day in order to cover the entire 90-man offseason roster. So without further ado, here are today’s two players:
Position: Wide Receiver
Drafted: Round 3, Pick 66, 2019
Roster Outlook: Lock
There are a lot of different ways to look at Diontae Johnson when it comes to his status as a wide receiver around the NFL. He is one of only six players who finished in the top 16 of receivers in all three categories of yards, receptions, and touchdowns in 2021. Based on this alone, it appears the Johnson is a top-six receiver. But when looking at the numbers for individual games, Johnson only went over the century mark in yardage three times in 2021 with his most yards in one game being 105 on two occasions. Another concern of Steelers’ fans is the number of drops. Based on the numbers provided by Pro Football Reference (PFR), Johnson saw his drops decrease from 13 to 5 from 2020 to 2021 during the regular season. But the other concern is when the five drops occurred, as they were all late in the season as they came in Week 13 or later. Additionally, PFR has Johnson with two additional drops on his 10 targets in the Steelers Wild Card loss.
There is no question about Johnson’s roster status for 2022. The biggest question comes down to if he gets a new deal this year after the insane explosion in the wide receiver market, or if he must wait until next year and possibly test free agency.
Drafted: UDFA, 2022
College: Texas A&M
Roster Outlook: Outside looking in
Not all undrafted rookie free agents come into identical situations. While players trying to catch on with the Steelers in crowded rooms such as a defensive line have a long road ahead of them, Tyree Johnson does not have a large number of players ahead of him on the Steelers depth chart at outside linebacker. With the reserve roles at the position not obviously locked down in the eyes of Steelers’ Nation, Johnson will have an opportunity to impress in training camp and put his name in the mix at the position. But not only will Johnson have to move high enough on the depth chart, his play would also have to impress the Steelers to make them want to keep more players at outside linebacker rather than use the roster spots at other positions. At worst, Tyree Johnson has an honest shot of landing on the Steelers practice squad if he shows promise as an NFL-caliber player.
Be sure to check back everyday for another two players for the Steelers, and as we go along click back on previous articles listed below so you don’t miss a thing.