“Diontae Johnson broke 18 tackles on 59 catches…”
Predicting every NFL team’s 2020 breakout player https://t.co/jY0K1SqYh0
— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) September 9, 2020
Pro Football Focus revealed their annual breakout player predictions for every NFL team, and — surprise, surprise — they selected wide receiver Diontae Johnson as the Steelers candidate for breakout player.
In his predictions, PFF’s Anthony Treash writes:
Johnson has been high on several PFF analysts’ radars dating back to his days at Toledo, and he showed glimpses in his 2019 rookie year (particularly down the stretch) that verify our projection of him. Four of his five best games of the year came in his final four games, and that led to him being the sixth-highest graded player at the position in that span.
He’s tough to bring down after the catch, too; Johnson broke 18 tackles on 59 catches, tying for the most in the league with Deebo Samuel. If he keeps up his play from late in 2019, he’s in line for a big 2020 campaign.
Treash included a 2019 Tweet from PFF’s Sam Monson highlighting Johnson’s play versus the Buffalo Bills.
Diontae Johnson is a rookie.
PFF loved him coming out because he doesn’t look like it.
Look at this release+hand placement. Absolutely SAUCES T White, who is an elite cornerback pic.twitter.com/BQZVWdGFqj
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) December 16, 2019
In May, Monson selected Johnson as one of two Steelers (linebacker Devin Bush) among eight potential breakout second-year players for 2020.
Johnson’s encouraging rookie season has set him up nicely for a remarkable forthcoming campaign. With Ben Roethlisberger back at the helm for Pittsburgh, there’s no reason why he can’t make that sophomore leap into breakoutdom.
Nursing a foot injury, Johnson is expected to play Monday night versus the Giants at MetLife Stadium.