Pro Football Focus has Diontae Johnson as a boom or bust player in 2021
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Diontae Johnson had a solid sophomore campaign in 2020, recording 88 receptions for a team-high 923 yards (10.5 average) and seven touchdowns. Johnson also led the team in targets with 144.
However, the biggest blemish on Johnson's season was the drops. It was so bad that Johnson ended up getting benched by Mike Tomlin for two drops in the first quarter against the Bills in Week 14. According to Pro Football Focus, Johnson led the league in drops with 15 in 2020.
Being that Johnson had a case of the yips last year when it came to catching the ball, Ian Hartitz of PFF has Johnson on his 2021 Jameis Winston All-Star Team, which is a team compiled of boom or bust players for this season.
Hartitz doesn't believe Johnson should be defined just by the drops, even though catching the ball is the No. 1 priority of a wide receiver. He points to the fact that other top receivers in the league have had issues with catching the ball as well, but it's due to getting a high volume of targets and having the ability to get open. Tyreek Hill (13), Jerry Jeudy (12), D.K. Metcalf (11) and Stefon (10) were also in the double-digit drop club last season, according to Hartitz.
To Johnson's credit, he was more focused and didn't have as many drops following getting benched by Tomlin in Week 14 against the Bills. He still needs to improve tremendously in the area, however, and make sure that it doesn't occur again. He's just too good of a receiver to not haul in gimme passes. Hopefully, the drops that plagued Johnson in 2020 are put behind him.