TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston was taken by the Los Angeles Chargers with the No. 21 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Johnston played an integral role in the Horned Frogs’ run to the national championship game and is the second receiver to be taken off the board. He joins Keenan Allen and Mike Williams in an already stacked receiver room and becomes another dangerous weapon for Justin Herbert.
Don’t be surprised if TCU’s Quentin Johnston is the first wide receiver off the board in the 2023 NFL Draft. A guaranteed first-round pick, Johnston has the size and speed combination NFL teams covet for an outside receiver. He’s loaded with potential, but not without risk.
A Biletnikoff semifinalist, Johnston caught 53 passes for 901 yards and five touchdowns last season, helping fuel the Frogs’ run to the national title game. Injury shortened his season in 2021, but he still finished with 33 catches for 604 yards and six touchdowns, the team’s leading receiver.
The question ahead for Johnston is whether or not he can be a true No. 1 wideout in the pros.
Quentin Johnston: Scouting Report
It starts with size and speed for Johnston. Clocking in at 6’ 3”, 208 pounds he’s exactly what central casting would call up for a top wideout. Johnston did not run the 40 at the Combine, but he has put up 4.4 time in the past. His 40.5” vertical jump was impressive. His start-stop ability stands out on tape as well as his straight-line speed. And it all combines to give him a huge catch radius.
Johnston’s a good route runner too, capable of making the needed adjustments to keep himself where his quarterback needs him to be. He doesn’t rely exclusively on his speed to make plays after the catch either; Johnston runs with the violence of a running back, making him hard to bring down.
During his college career, Johnston showed good hands, but he lacked some consistency in that department that could be a factor in his pro development. He had eight drops last season and has struggled to make contested catches, which is really hard to wrap your head around when you consider his package of size and athleticism.
Another knock on Johnston is his struggle against man coverage. He can get tangled up at the line of scrimmage at times, and the NFL’s upper echelon of cornerbacks could easily make life difficult for him at the next level if he can’t get this aspect of his game dialed in.
Mock Draft landing spots
The Athletic’s Dane Brugler has Johnston going to the Texans in the early second round, and CBS’ Ryan Wilson sees Johnston with the Giants with a first-round draft pick.
Fantasy football implications
With an accurate quarterback, Johnston could have a really productive rookie season. Right away, his best fit might be as a threatening No. 2 wideout, across from someone who’s going to draw a defense’s top cornerback in coverage.
With inconsistent hands and struggles against press-man coverage, there could be some real down weeks for Johnston’s fantasy football production. Still, it would not be at all surprising to see Johnston putting up yardage totals north of 800 yards with half a dozen touchdowns as a rookie.
The Texans could be an interesting fit as they attempt to rebuild an offense from the ground up. He would be getting a rookie quarterback, so he could certainly see some kinks in his rookie receiving season. Since Houston’s 2023 will likely see a decent overhaul in play-calling, I would hesitate to draft Johnston with the Texans. He may not fare much better in fantasy numbers with Daniel Jones and the Giants as he joins a team centered around the run game of Saquon Barkley. Johnston will be an early pick but don’t expect an OROY nomination at the end of the year.