Sunday night’s game was anything but rosy for Diontae Johnson. His two key drops that would have turned into first downs were backbreakers for a team that lacked cohesiveness on offense from the very start of the game. For a player who is so talented, the drops are clearly an issue that just plagues his game.
For a player like Johnson, it is easy to play the game of ‘what if’. However, the fact of the matter is that his hands are an issue, even though they appeared to be fixed for a large portion of the season. It is hard to pinpoint what is causing the drops as an overall cause. Johnson himself thinks they are concentration drops. Still, with all he does outside of those, it can be easy to ignore them because he has incredible highs. That is something Johnson himself is preaching.
“I wouldn’t just pinpoint one thing,” Johnson said. “Like I said, people are going to drop the ball. I’m not perfect. I’m not going to sit up here and act like i’m perfect. I just go out there and play football at the end of the day. There’s a lot of emotions going on in the game. Sometimes, you drop the ball. Big deal. Bounce back from it, make another play. That’s what I did. I was able to get in the end zone and still make a couple plays after the two drops that I had. Even when I did drop the ball this year, I’ve shown that I can respond in a positive manner. And that’s what I’ve been doing.
“A lot of people talk about that, but they don’t notice. I feel that’s the main thing they focus on is the drops. But they don’t see all the good stuff that I’ve been doing throughout the whole season. So it’s like, why do you continue to focus on that when I’m still, obviously, continuing to contribute and put points on the board and have all these catches in the game throughout the season. It’s like, it’s football at the end of the day. The best of the best are going to drop the ball. I’m only human. I’m going to drop the ball again throughout my career. All I can do is just keep on working.”
That is really the crux of this entire thing. It is a consistency factor. It is easy to say, however, that history is on Johnson’s side. Plenty of elite route runners like Davante Adams and Amari Cooper were plagued by the same issues in their first three seasons in the NFL. Those guys are now bonafide studs and top-tier wide receivers. If he can fix those drop issues, the sky truly is the limit for Johnson and his ceiling.