3 Steelers players I hope prove me wrong in 2023

  • Two skill players must take significant leaps forward
  • One newcomer might be getting overhyped

Pittsburgh Steelers, Diontae Johnson
Pittsburgh Steelers, Diontae Johnson / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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1. WR Diontae Johnson

I know there are many Pittsburgh Steelers fans that still think Diontae Johnson has been a top-10 wide receiver in the NFL and he could return to that status in 2023. I never thought he was worthy of such a title.

Though he has always been an elite separator and route runner thanks to his quick movements and ability to sell his routes, Johnson has been lacking in other areas of his game. He isn't very consistent in contested catch situations and he was abysmal in the red zone last season. Combine this with the fact that he was one of the worst receivers in the league in yards after the catch in 2022, and you have a player who deserves to have a reduced role on offense.

Thanks to his ability to get open, Johnson hasn't seen fewer than 144 targets over each of the past three seasons. But fans need to understand that volume does not equal efficiency. Just because you pepper a receiver with roughly 150 opportunities doesn't automatically make him a great player.

Johnson could return to form and play as he did over the first 10 games of the 2021 season. This would be the best-case scenario for him in 2022. However, I think I have him figured out at this point and I have a pretty good idea of who he will be again in 2023. I want nothing more than for him to prove me wrong.

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