In EA Sports Madden NFL 24, the scores for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson went down, while those of his teammate George Pickens went up a lot. Johnson had an overall grade of 85 in last year’s game, which tied him for 24th place among receivers. This season, his total ranking has dropped to 82, and he is tied for 36th place among receivers.
Statistically, Johnson did not do as well in 2022 as he had in the past. Not only did Johnson not score a touchdown all season, but his catches dropped from 107 to 86 and his yards dropped from 1,161 to 882 because rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett made the Steelers attack much less pass-happy.
But that didn’t stop Pickens from doing better than he expected in his first year. Before the start of his first year with the Steelers as a second-round pick out of Georgia, Pickens has a Madden grade of 74. This year, Pickens has an 80 grade, which is right behind Johnson and tied for 45th in the league.
Pickens caught 52 passes for 801 yards and four scores in 2022. Despite being drafted in the second round, this made him one of the best wide receivers in his class. This higher grade fits with what Pickens himself thinks of his skills. He said that his goal is to play in the Pro Bowl in his second year, and Pickett said this week that he thinks it’s possible.
“George could definitely be one of the best players in the league,” Pickett said on a podcast with Steelers defensive captain Cam Heyward. “I can think of at least three catches he made in practice that was better than the one everyone saw during the season,” he said.
Pickett also said he thinks Johnson’s 2023 season will be better than his 2022 season. Allen Robinson II, another starting wide receiver for the Steelers, is rated 79 overall. Miles Boykin, Calvin Austin III, Gunner Olszewski, Dez Fitzpatrick, JaMarcus Bradley, Hakeem Butler, and Cody White are all ranked between 71 and 59.
Justin Jefferson, a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, got the highest overall score of 99. Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins and Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders both got 98.