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NFL Pundits Give Bolts High Grades for Johnston Pick

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror, as Day 2 kicks off in just a few hours.

The Bolts offense got more explosive in Round 1 with the addition TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston at the 21st overall pick. All Johnston did with the Horned Frogs was produce, leading the team in receiving yards each of his three seasons.

And now, Johnston will have a chance to produce with the Chargers, as he joins a room led by Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Joshua Palmer. It is a big receiver room now with the addition of Johnston, as the team has a lot of size with its pass catching options.

But perhaps one of the biggest skills that the TCU receiver has is something that will fit right in with the Bolts according to CBS Sports' Chris Trapasso, as he gave the team an 'A+ grade' for their selection at No. 21.

USA Today also handed out a high 'A grade' from Robert Zeglinski, who wrote:

The Chargers aren't messing around. They want Justin Herbert to take the next step, and Johnston will be a vital piece in that grand design.

There will be questions about Johnston's "basketball player" style of play next to fellow hooper Mike Williams, especially considering the Chargers could use more natural separators than anything. But Johnston can be a bona fide No. 1, someone who profiles as more than a glorified rebounder on jump balls. I can't confirm it for sure, but I think Herbert pumped his fist when he saw this pick.

FanSided's Cody Williams also went with an 'A grade:'

Johnston is one of the most confusing players in the draft because he looks the part of a big-bodied playmaker who wins in traffic, but he's actually the opposite. He's a quick mover and a beast after the catch as a great athlete. I love the Chargers getting this weapon for Justin Herbert, especially as Keenan Allen might be getting a bit gray and Mike Williams has endured problems staying healthy for a full season.

Johnston has big play potential, something the Chargers were missing last season. He will now get a chance to learn from some of the NFL's best and provide another punch to an offense now led by Kellen Moore.

When Johnston gets the ball in his hands, he can make people miss, as Pro Football Focus believes the Bolts made a good pick.

PFF wrote:

The Chargers land the third-ranked wide receiver on the PFF big board and a player who can make people miss in space. Johnston forced 19 missed tackles on just 60 receptions and averaged 17.8 yards per catch.

Take a look through some photos of the Chargers 2023 first-round Draft pick, wide receiver Quentin Johnston from Texas Christian University.

Johnston's ability to run after the catch will fit right in with this wide receiver core, as he is a dynamic option with the ball in his hands. In his final collegiate season in 2022, Johnston was second in the FBS with 8.9 yards after the catch per reception.

This skill landed Johnston as the No. 1 ranked receiver according to Bleacher Report, as they gave the Chargers a 'B+ grade' for the addition of the receiver.

Bleacher Report's Brent Sobleski wrote:

But what makes the fit so interesting is the way the rookie can win for the Chargers, which is desperately needed… Johnston should be placed in a position to create after the catch. He can be used on quick hitters. As long as he's hit in stride by quarterback Justin Herbert, Johnston will create chunk plays, even on short throws.

Whether it was short, intermediate or deep, Johnston punished opposing defenses throughout his time at TCU.

Now, he has a chance to do that with the Chargers and become another dangerous target for quarterback Justin Herbert.

Pro Football Network's Oliver Hodgkinson wrote:

Quentin Johnston gives Herbert a genuine three-level threat at the NFL level. Johnston has the size and physicality to terrorize on the perimeter, while his deceptive speed relative to his size enables him to be an after-the-catch weapon.

If he can clean up some drops that were evident on his college tape, Johnston is going to quickly establish himself as Herbert's best friend for the Chargers.

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