Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson saw his ratings in EA Sports Madden NFL 24 take a tumble, while his Steelers receiving cohort George Pickens got a big boost.
In last year’s game, Johnson was tied as the 24th-best receiver in the game with an 85 overall rating. This season, he has dropped to 82 overall and is tied as the 36th-best receiver in the game.
Johnson struggled in 2022 compared to his previous statistical accomplishments. In addition to his notable absence from the end zone throughout the season, Johnson also saw his catches decrease from 107 to 86 and his yards fall from 1,161 to 882 as the Steelers’ offense was significantly less pass-happy with rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett at the helm.
But that didn’t stop Pickens from exceeding his expectations for his rookie season. Pickens has a Madden rating of 74 before the start of his first year with the Steelers as a second-round pick out of Georgia. This season, Pickens checks in with an 80 rating, just behind Johnson and tied for 45th-best in the league.
Pickens caught 52 passes for 801 yards and four touchdowns in 2022, establishing himself as one of the top wide receivers out of his draft class despite his second-round status.
That increased rating jives with Pickens’ own view of his abilities. He said that his goal is to be a Pro Bowl player in his second year, and Pickett said this week that he thinks it’s possible.
“George could be a top guy in the league, no doubt,” Pickett said on the Not Just Football Podcast with Steelers defensive captain Cam Heyward. “There’s probably three catches in practice that stick out to me that are better than the one that he had that everyone saw in the season.”
Pickett also said he believes Johnson will have a better season in 2023 than he did in 2022.
Fellow Steelers starting wide receiver Allen Robinson II is rated 79 overall, followed by Miles Boykin (71), Calvin Austin III (70), Gunner Olszewski (67), Dez Fitzpatrick (66), JaMarcus Bradley (66), Hakeem Butler (65) and Cody White (59).
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson had the top overall rating at 99, followed by Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins at 98 and Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders at 97.