6 best Steelers to build a team around after Ben Roethlisberger
5. WR Diontae Johnson
Spoiler alert: JuJu Smith-Schuster just missed the cut for me on this list. While he is still a very young and consistent receiver, it’s unlikely that he’s able to return to Pittsburgh on a lucrative new deal this offseason, as Pittsburgh just doesn’t have the funds. Even if he does manage to return, Roethlisberger has found favor throwing to Diontae Johnson.
While Johnson certainly has had his ups and downs early in his NFL career, it’s not hard to see why Ben looks his direction so often. Johnson creates tons of separation in and out of his breaks, and his ability to make defenders miss after the catch is something that very few players in the NFL can offer. Roethlisberger knows that all he has to do is get the ball to Johnson in space and he is going to make him look good.
Through the first 9 games of the season, Johnson has the highest target rate when he is on the field and he trails only JuJu by 5 targets despite missing almost two-and-a-half games of action, collectively. While Johnson’s time in Pittsburgh is going to outlast Big Ben, whoever the quarterback is after him will have the same reasons to love Johnson. He could be a very good receiver for a long time. Just get him the ball and let him work.