Diontae Johnson's stock can soar with the Carolina Panthers in 2024

The wide receiver can make a massive difference in 2024.
Diontae Johnson
Diontae Johnson / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Diontae Johnson comes into the Carolina Panthers with a huge chip on his shoulder. The Pittsburgh Steelers cast him aside for nothing more than veteran cornerback Donte Jackson and a late-round pick swap. This left the wide receiver shocked and eager to prove them wrong.

This looks like an outstanding addition to the Panthers. They needed to surround second-year quarterback Bryce Young with pass-catchers capable of creating separation. Johnson is one of the league's best route-runners at the peak of his powers, so hopes are high this relationship can blossom throughout the 2024 campaign.

Johnson's heard the chatter. Questions about being a locker room distraction were brushed off. Frustrations boiled over thanks in no small part to subpar quarterback play in Pittsburgh. Hopefully, there won't be any such complications when the right chemistry is built with Young in a different environment.

Diontae Johnson can become a fantasy football darling with the Carolina Panthers

Andrew Little from TWSN thinks Johnson will benefit significantly from a change of scenery, especially in the red zone with Dave Canales calling plays. Something that could make the wideout an intriguing fantasy football pickup along the way.

"Wide receiver is one of the deepest positions in fantasy football, and finding a gem in the middle-to-late rounds can change a season. This year, Diontae Johnson is the wide receiver that will drastically outplay his draft position. Touchdown production has been a roller coaster throughout Johnson’s career. He infamously found the end zone zero times in 2022. Under [Dave] Canales, the Buccaneers had the 11th-most passing touchdowns in 2023. Last year, the Panthers were tied for second-worst in the league with 13 passing touchdowns. That number will surely rise in 2024, and Johnson should be a benefactor. Johnson and [Bryce] Young are a perfect match in Carolina. Johnson is the efficient separator and reliable receiver Young needs, and he will be fed the ball en route to a career season. Take advantage of his value outside the top-36 receivers drafted in fantasy football."

Andrew Little, TWSN

Johnson has the talent, he's proven that on countless occasions since entering the league out of Toledo. He's also highly determined to silence his ongoing doubters. That's a solid foundation from which to build and targets should be plentiful as Carolina's No. 1 receiving option until rookie first-rounder Xavier Legette comes to the fore.

This is a crossroads campaign for Johnson, make no mistake about that. The Panthers didn't give up much to acquire the former third-round pick. If he doesn't meet expectations, a situation could emerge where general manager Dan Morgan goes in a different direction next spring.

There's a flip side to this coin. Johnson can make himself a ton of money from the Panthers or elsewhere by returning to his Pro Bowl-caliber production in a contract year. Looking at how light Carolina is of legitimate receiving production, they'd be wise to pay up accordingly.

If Johnson harnesses this motivation positively, this could be a tremendous piece of business for the Panthers. One that can help propel Young to better fortunes after a disastrous rookie campaign.

Getting off to a fast start is crucial. After that, big things could be in Johnson's future.