4 best replacements for Diontae Johnson on the Steelers

These four options would fit perfectly in Arthur Smith's new offense.

NFL Combine
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The Pittsburgh Steelers are moving in a different direction offensively, and their plans for the 2024 season will not include Diontae Johnson. After a very productive five-year stint in Pittsburgh, the Steelers traded Johnson to the Carolina Panthers.

While the Steelers received a capable starting cornerback, Donte Jackson, as part of the deal, they suddenly have a glaring need for a quality wide receiver to pair with George Pickens.

Johnson wasn't the most reliable receiver, but these are big shoes to fill. The former third-round pick was a master at getting open and creating distance between himself and his defender at the top of his route. Because of this, Johnson earned a whopping 639 targets during his five seasons in Pittsburgh.

With Arthur Smith now running the offense, Pittsburgh is going to be looking for a different type of receiver. This is likely to come in the form of a big-bodied weapon that can block in space and box defenders out down the field. Here are the four best replacement options for Diontae Johnson on the Steelers in 2024.

1. Brian Thomas Jr., NFL Draft

The 2024 wide receiver class is looking unlike anything we have seen in recent years. The talent at the top of the group is phenomenal with a trio of blue-chip prospects in Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze. Just after that group, Brian Thomas Jr. could be next in line.

Thomas is an electrifying playmaker with outstanding size and speed. The LSU standout measured in at 6'2 7/8''' and 209 pounds and ran a blazing 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

Thomas is not a refined route runner, but there is potential to grow in this department. Where he does excel, however, is down the field. Thanks to his remarkable speed and ball-tracking ability, Thomas could prove to be one of the best deep threats in the league.

In order to land this player, the Steelers would have to use their first-round pick on him in the 2024 NFL Draft, and he's certainly not guaranteed to be there when the 20th overall selection rolls around. Brian Thomas Jr. is a high-upside receiver with untapped potential who fits the profile that Arthur Smith will be looking for in a starting receiver on his offense. He would be the dream receiver for the Steelers if they are willing to spend a first-round pick to solidify the position.