LATROBE, Pa. -- As the second pick of the third round in the 2019 NFL Draft, Diontae Johnson represented the third consecutive draft in which the Steelers selected a receiver within the first three rounds. I wrote about him after he was drafted, but after seeing him in the first day in pads, he flashed the skills throughout practice that attracted the Steelers' attention.
Here's a recap of the plays and good traits he's shown, and how they could lead to the bigger plays he delivered in college:
Johnson's best assets are his crisp release and his routes — how he creates separation from defenders in coverage. That doesn't always translate directly to the NFL because of the increase in defenders' speed, athleticism and skill, so there was a big question as to whether Johnson's skills would give him any advantages right away or if he'd have to amplify them before being able to make an impact.
Based on the first three days of camp, Johnson has shown those skills could make him very useful as a rookie. He's been clean off the line in getting into his routes and quick off his breaks into the eventual route and direction which his quarterback will target.