Biggest issues facing each Steelers receiver in 2022
By Tommy Jaggi
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been dealing with a number of issues from their wide receivers as of late. Here’s the most significant problem each receiver faces.
Entering the 2022 season, I was very optimistic about Pittsburgh’s young and talented group of wide receivers. While I still believe there is some upside here, things haven’t gone according to plan for this group. Sadly, Steelers receivers are trending in the wrong direction.
Pittsburgh traded away Chase Claypool just before the deadline (which I still believe will prove to be a good move), but this left them short on depth — especially with rookie Calvin Austin on IR. Despite improvements from QB Kenny Pickett, every one of Pittsburgh’s receivers has struggled with something major this year.
Here is the biggest issue facing each Steelers receiver this season and whether or not these issues can be resolved:
Diontae Johnson is overflowing with inconsistency
After two back-to-back productive seasons with Ben Roethlisberger at the helm, Diontae Johnson has taken a major hit this season when it comes to both production and efficiency. The latter is particularly concerning.
Johnson’s yards after the catch per reception (just 2.2) have been more than cut in half from any point in his four-year career so far. Additionally, his yards per reception and yards per target have hit new career lows. This has resulted in a dismal 53.1 passer rating when targeted — making him one of the least efficient receivers in the NFL this year.
Despite his issues, Johnson has been the most targeted player on the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2022, but it certainly looks like it’s time for a paradigm shift in the Steel City. If Johnson reverts back to being the second or third option in the passing game, it stands to reason that his efficiency could climb back up to where it used to be.