WR Diontae Johnson - Pittsburgh Steelers

5-10, 183Born: 7-5-1996College: ToledoDrafted: Round 3, pick 2019

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News you need to know

General News (Wed Dec 4): partially participated in Wednesday's practice.

Week 14: at Arizona Cardinals

All WR vs ARI

FBG says: Good matchup. It's hard to call young Devlin Hodges a polished prospect. He's being managed very closely and given very little downfield opportunity, with the Steelers running heavily to protect him. Still, his steady-ish play has been a noticeable upgrade on the mistake-prone Mason Rudolph. Hodges has shown the spark of a dynamic connection with wideout James Washington, who's topped 90 yards in 3 of his last 4 games. The pair hooked up on three fantastic, well-contested deep balls last week, making for the most excitement this attack has seen in over a month. Washington would still hold some fantasy value even if JuJu Smith-Schuster can return - he doesn't look likely to - but offers week-winning potential as Hodges' No. 1 target. With the lack of volume at play, though, there's not much stability or upside to be found anywhere else. No. 2 wideout Diontae Johnson have combined to post just 115 yards over the past 3 weeks. The Cardinals opened the year struggling against the pass, but this unit has now plummeted to the bottom of the league by just about every measure. Not even the Week 7 return of All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson has helped stop the bleeding. The numbers have been staggering: they've allowed 420+ yards in back-to-back games, and 315+ in 6 of their last seven. Over those 7 games they've surrendered 19 touchdowns through the air, and 7 different receivers have recorded 100+ yards. Peterson has suffered through his worst season as a pro, and rookie Byron Murphy has been even worse across the field. Of course, the Cardinals have gained the most notoriety here in 2019 for their ineptitude against tight ends. The linebackers and safeties have been historically poor in coverage up the seams. They've already allowed 6 different tight ends to top 75 yards - 4 of them cleared 100 - with an astonishing 13 touchdowns along the way. Vance McDonald has largely faded from the Pittsburgh gameplan, but he couldn't ask for a better time to get more involved.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRSHYDTDTARGRECYDTDFumLPts
10 vs LAR 53 0 0 0 6 4.0 64 0 0 5.4
11 at CLE 38 0 0 0 4 2.0 17 0 0 1.7
12 at CIN 50 0 0 0 6 3.0 29 0 0 2.9
13 vs CLE 40 1 17 0 5 1.0 14 0 0 3.1
14 at ARI PROJ-Dodds * 0 * * 3.9 * * * *
14 at ARI PROJ-Tremblay * 0 * * 4.4 * * * *
14 at ARI PROJ-Bloom * 0 * * 4.0 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs WR 1, WR 12, WR 24, WR 36

Percentile ranks

Diontae Johnson's percentile rank in each category, among WR with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 13 vs CLE (5 / 1 / 14 / 0 rec, 1 / 17 / 0 rush)

Johnson had an up and down game for the Steelers in Week 13. Johnson's valleys were a false start, a drop with a lot of room in front of him to run, and was the second man in an altercation with a Browns player. Johnson drew a 15-yard unsportsman like penalty. Johnson had two big plays in the game. His first was an end around on a trick play using Johnson's athleticism. Gain of 17-yards. His second impactful play was his only catch of the game. It came in the most crucial time of the game in the fourth quarter. Streaking across the field, Johnson caught the ball over the middle and converted the first down. Unfortunately, Johnson didn't have the awareness to stay in bounds.

2019 Week 12 vs CIN (6 / 3 / 29 / 0 rec)

The targets were there for Johnson, but not the production. Johnson's first reception of the game, from Rudolph, was on an out route for short gain. Johnson's second reception came on a great adjustment on third and long in the first quarter. Was a bit aggressive at the top of his route to create separation. Big conversion early. Johnson was able to also contribute penalty yardage. Following James Washington's defensive pass interference penalty, Johnson drew one of his own for 26-yards and was the second longest play of the game for the Steelers.

2019 Week 11 vs CLE (4 / 2 / 17 / 0 rec)

In the first quarter Johnson was h in stride for a short reception. Johnson was able to break the first tackle, but couldn't make the second defender miss to gain a first down. On a helmet to helmet hit on a defenseless receiver, Johnson drew a 15-yard penalty and an automatic first down. Johnson was out for the remainder of the game and the defender who hit Johnson was ejected from the game.

2019 Week 10 vs LAR (6 / 4 / 64 / 0 rec)

Working after the catch is a thing of beauty for Diontae Johnson. When caught in stride, Johnson displays good vision, exceptional explosiveness, and the ability to make defenders miss in the open field. Johnson has playmaker written all over him. Johnson's signature route, at this point in the season, is a simple drag concept moving him from left to right. Mason Rudolph, working in the intermediate area of the field, routinely hits Johnson in stride and allows him to use his athleticism after the catch.

2019 Week 9 vs IND (2 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)

With a conservative game script comes not many opportunities to make plays. On one snap, the offense tried to get Johnson involved on an end around. The play went for five yards and was the last time Johnson touched the ball all game.

2019 Week 8 vs MIA (7 / 5 / 84 / 1 rec)

This is Johnson's fifth game with over five targets, third game with a touchdown and highest yardage total of the season. All of this and Johnson wasn't targeted for the first time until the second quarter. Overall, Johnson's game was a step forward, but there were still some mistakes. Johnson was called for an offensive pass interference. The call was reviewed, but there was not enough proof to rise to the level of overturning the call on the field. On another play, Johnson slipped at the top of his route and was not able to come back for the ball. Johnson's touchdown on the day came on a 3-20. For some reason the defense dialed up a walk around blitz and left the receivers in man coverage. The coverage on Johnson was blown and Johnson was free on a slant route over the middle of the field. Johnson displayed exceptional burst after the catch and good vision around the end zone where he had the ability to turn around the defender and follow his blockers for a touchdown.

2019 Week 6 vs LAC (2 / 2 / 14 / 0 rec)

Johnson's speed is apparent in every game and the Steelers are trying to find creative ways to get him touches weekly. On consecutive weeks, Johnson has been used in misdirection plays trying to either catch the defense sleeping or being to aggressive. Johnson's best catch on the night came on a speed out. There wasn't anything out of the ordinary for the catch, but the Hodges displayed a big-time arm driving the ball to the outside and trusting Johnson to make a play. This drive would later lead to a touchdown for the Steelers.

2019 Week 5 vs BAL (8 / 5 / 27 / 0 rec)

It's the second straight time Diontae Johnson has led the Steeler's wide receivers in targets as he continues to take advantage of easier matchups while the defense concentrates on Juju Smith-Schuster. It also doesn't hurt for Donte ěDropsî Moncrief to be a healthy scratch again. Week 5 did not see the same broken coverages or flashy plays the previous weeks have seen, but there was one odd play for the rookie. On a third down, Devlin Hodges hits Johnson on a pass for the first down. The ball jars loose and goes out of bounds. The commentators and the official during the telecast all say it should be an incomplete pass, but the ruling on the field is a completed pass for a first down and the ball was fumbled out of bounds. This catch continued a drive which lead to the Steelers scoring a touchdown.

2019 Week 4 vs CIN (6 / 6 / 77 / 1 rec)

On his first catch of the first quarter on the first drive for the Steelers Diontae Johnson fumbled the ball when being brought to the ground. Video of the sidelines showed Johnson being spoken to by Smith-Schuster and one could only imagine Juju telling him to keep his confidence up and to be patient for his opportunity to make a big play for his team. Johnson didn't have to wait very long. Similar to how Antonio Brown was used last year, Johnson was being used as a multi-dimensional player who could be used on an end around for a big chunk play to catch an overly aggressive defense off balance or he can play in the deep game. In tonight's match-up against the Bengals Johnson was able to deliver one splash play. In the third quarter on a busted coverage Johnson was left alone on the deep left quadrant of the football field. No one was close to him. The ball was almost overthrown and Johnson didn't need to jump for the ball, but the catch was made and Johnson scored a redemption touchdown.

2019 Week 3 vs SF (6 / 3 / 52 / 1 rec, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)

There needs to be someone who can take a little bit of pressure from Juju Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson is stepping up. The Steelers were trying to use the 49ers aggressive style of defense against them and used Diontae Johnson in the screen/short passing game and also on misdirection end around plays. Johnson's versatility may be why he was so involved. Johnson has one reception on an inside slant, another on a crossing route, a gadget play, and a target downfield. Johnson's touchdown on the game was a product of being targeted downfield against a 49ers fill-in defensive back who the Steelers were targeting. The defender looked back and saw Mason Rudolph do a shoulder fake and bit. It was plenty for Johnson to get past his defender and haul in the reception for a touchdown. If Johnson continues to show his versatility, he may become the Robin to Juju Smith-Schuster's Batman.

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Latest News

Steelers | Diontae Johnson takes part in practice (Thu Dec 5, 04:17 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (illness) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 5.

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Steelers | Diontae Johnson limited Wednesday (Wed Dec 4, 04:17 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (illness) was limited in practice Wednesday, Dec. 4.

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Steelers | Three catches for Diontae Johnson (Sun Nov 24, 08:39 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR Diontae Johnson managed three receptions for 29 yards on six targets in Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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Steelers | Diontae Johnson cleared to play (Sun Nov 24, 11:14 AM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (concussion) has been cleared by doctors to play in the Week 12 game.

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Steelers | Diontae Johnson not on injury report (Fri Nov 22, 03:26 PM) - Pittsburgh Steelers WR Diontae Johnson (concussion) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 22, and is not on the injury report for Week 12.

Our View: Johnson has some upside this week after stringing together some games with long touchdowns from Mason Rudolph earlier this year. It's good to see him ready to play this week after he was bleeding from his ear upon leaving the game last week.
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Schedule

14@ Arizona Cardinals
15vs Buffalo Bills
16@ New York Jets
17@ Baltimore Ravens