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Charger’s Day 1 Draft Grade


For a contender, the Los Angeles Chargers have plenty of needs this draft cycle. They could be more stable at the RT position, they could use more depth in their secondary and across their DL, and they need another receiver to either expand the field or prepare for life post-Keenan Allen. With the premier OTs and CBs, DL Calijah Kancey, and WR Jaxson Smith-Njigba off the board by the Charger’s selection, the team was left with TCU’s Quentin Johnston, Boston College’s Zay Jones, USC’s Jordan Addison, and Georgia’s Nolan Smith. By selecting wide receiver Quentin Johnston with their first round pick, the LA franchise gained a receiver who can stretch the field vertically while he develops to be the Charger’s number one receiver in the post-Keenan Allen era. 


Grade: B

Explaining the Grade…

When it came to this year’s wide receivers, Quentin Johnston definitely had the most upside out of every receiver prospect but also came with the most risk. An intricate part of TCU’s offensive success this past season, Johnston is a weapon thanks to his unique blend of size, speed, and YAC ability. However, his year-to-year consistency, production, and technique all need to be improved in order for him to reach his full potential. 


Quentin Johnston is a unicorn as he measured in at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine at 6 ‘3” 208 pounds and runs a 40-yard dash in the 4.4s. From this, he offers quarterbacks with a large catch radius and is a home run threat on every play with his ability to take the tops off defenses. Because of his speed, he is also a nightmare after the catch who possesses excellent breakaway speed to easily run past and away from pursuing defenders. Additionally, thanks to his size and strength, not only do defenders have to worry about Johnston’s speed, but also about the possibility of him running them over. Lastly, Johnston is a reliable blocker as, at the very least, he’s a large obstacle in the way of defensive backs attempting to get to the ball carrier. 


When it comes to areas of concern for the TCU product, one red-flag is his lack of production in previous years. Prior to this past season, the ex-Horned Frog still saw consistent action on the field, but wasn’t relied upon as much resulting in him being targeted less. This lack of production in years prior stems from other concerning areas of his game such as his lack of production versus press coverage. A big and strong player, it would be expected that Johnston bullies corners when this isn’t the case. Too often does he leave his chest open, allowing for defensive backs to easily jam him at the line of scrimmage. Johnston’s inability to out-physical defensive backs is also apparent down the field on his routes as he has been inconsistent at catching the football through contact and in jump ball scenarios down the field. 


Because of his size, speed, and athletic ability Johnston offers new OC-Kellen Moore the possibility of winning now while also offering a replacement for Keenan Allen. The Chargers needed a speedy wideout to stretch the field and with Jalen Guyton’s injury history, it isn’t surprising the Chargers went wide receiver with their first round pick. He’ll be some work,  but if he pans out, he’ll wreak havoc on AFC West defenses for years to come.

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