Why Diontae Johnson is a Home-Run Acquisition for Panthers

This is one of the best moves of the offseason so far
Dionate Johnson is one of the NFL's best separators and a perfect WR upgrade for Carolina
Dionate Johnson is one of the NFL's best separators and a perfect WR upgrade for Carolina / Jamie Germano/Rochester Democrat and

The Panthers took a low-cost swing to improve the offense late Tuesday, acquiring former Pro Bowl wide receiver and All-Pro punt returner Diontae Johnson from the Steelers for a defensive back Donte Jackson and a late pick swap.

Johnson had 51 catches for 717 yards and five TDs last year. However, he's only a couple of years removed from a 1,161-yard season. Still only 27 years old, Johnson is a perfect dart throw for a Carolina team desperate for playmakers after bolstering the offensive line with a pair of splashy signings early in free agency.

As it turns out, Johnson represents the exact kind of receiver that the Panthers have been missing.

Diontae Johnson is the Perfect Wide Receiver for the Panthers

Johnson labored through poor quarterback play the last couple of years and while he had issues with drops early in his career, his 3.8% drop rate in 2023 was the best figure he's ever posted.

The one constant throughout Johnson's career is an uncanny ability to create separation. He's perhaps the most underrated route runner in the NFL. With his proven chops in the return game as well, getting Johnson for essentially a late-round pick is an absolute steal.

Every year he's been in the league, Johnson has created separation as well as any player in football. Bryce Young completed just 59.8% of his passes with 11 TDs and 10 interceptions last year, largely due to having one of the NFL's worst receiving groups.

Throwing Johnson in the mix instantly adds a proven separator who can thrive despite bad QB play. Given Young's pedigree and collegiate success, it's likely he'll be the best QB Johnson has played with.

For all the grief Carolina got for trading Brian Burns, this was an excellent move.

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