In 1st drills among veterans, Steelers rookie WR Diontae Johnson stays outside and not in slot
As the Pittsburgh Steelers begin to sort out their wide receivers corps in the post-Antonio Brown era, at least initially Diontae Johnson fit in on the outside.
Less than four weeks after he was taken with a pick toward the beginning of the third round, Johnson confirmed he was drilling as an outside receiver and not in the slot.
— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) May 20, 2019
Despite Johnson being sized more like an inside receiver at 5-10, 183 pounds, this was not unexpected because the Steelers have two more prototypical slot receivers in Ryan Switzer and Eli Rogers. Johnson also has a skillset that translates to the outside, and his reputation entering the draft was one of a receiver versatile enough to do either.
“I took, like, one rep inside,” Johnson said after the Steelers’ first organized team activity session Tuesday, “but the majority of the reps are outside. So that’s what I am kind of focusing on right now.”
— Diontae Johnson (@Juiceup__3) May 20, 2019
JuJu Smith-Schuster will take on the role as the No. 1 receiver, but who lines up opposite of him is up in the air. It could be veteran free-agent signee Donte Moncrief, it could be 2018 second-round pick James Washington – or it could be Johnson.
“We’ve got a solid group, in my opinion, because we still have veterans on the team like JuJu, Donte Moncrief, the rest of the guys,” Johnson said.
Johnson said he participated fully Tuesday in the OTA at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. Although he would not discuss specifics, Johnson was limited at rookie minicamp earlier this month by an apparent injury.
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Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .