NFL draft: Steelers take Antonio Brown clone with pick they got from Raiders for Brown

Yahoo Sports

If you’re going to trade Antonio Brown, you might as well use the pick you got for him to draft a clone.

Nobody is saying Diontae Johnson is Brown, one of the greatest receivers of his generation. But the Pittsburgh Steelers might have had some deja vu when they took Johnson in the third round.

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Like Brown, Johnson played in the Mid-American Conference. Brown played at Central Michigan, and Johnson comes from Toledo. Brown is 5-foot-10, 181 pounds; Johnson is 5-10, 183 pounds. Johnson is known as a good route runner and was a great kick returner in college ... just like Brown.

That the Steelers took Johnson the 66th overall pick, which they got from the Oakland Raiders in the Brown trade. That makes the comparison even funnier.

Steelers have a good track record at receiver

The odds of Johnson being anywhere near as good as Brown are very low. The odds of anyone being as good as Brown are slim.

However, the Steelers have consistently done well drafting receivers. Not every one has worked out, as fans who remember Limas Sweed will attest, but they’ve found some gems. Brown was one, as a sixth-round pick. It’s one of the best picks in NFL draft history.

Johnson might not be a Pro Bowler. But he can help replace Brown, and the Steelers have found other good receivers beyond the first round before. And the similarities between Brown and Johnson are striking.

Toledo wide receiver Diontae Johnson (3) was drafted by the Steelers in the third round. (AP)
Toledo wide receiver Diontae Johnson (3) was drafted by the Steelers in the third round. (AP)

Steelers get first piece of Antonio Brown trade

The Steelers got two picks from the Raiders for Brown. The second one will come Saturday, the 141st overall pick in the fifth round.

It’s hard to imagine Johnson and whoever is selected with that fifth-round pick will make Steelers fans feel a ton better about Brown not being with them anymore. It’s hard to justify a trade on draft night by comparing Brown to Johnson and a fifth-round pick.

But that’s what the trade was. The Steelers can only hope Johnson has an impact that resembles Brown’s production for many years. Johnson does resemble Brown in other ways.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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