Players That Bear Watching: TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston

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During this past NFL offseason, several teams made impactful roster upgrades which dramatically upgraded their offensive capabilities.

Among these teams were the Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins and Las Vegas Raiders, who each made trades for top-line wide receiving weapons that effectively enhanced their teams’ ability to attack defenses. Plus, pairing these special receivers with talented signal callers was expected to improve their respective quarterback's play overall as well.

The benefits from these moves have been obvious, especially for the Eagles, who have the best record in football with new No. 1 receiver AJ Brown, and the Dolphins, whose offense has led them to the heart of the AFC playoff hunt with the brilliantly fast Tyreek Hill.

So, if adding a productive primary receiver is instrumental to winning and quarterback development, if you're the Chicago Bears then why not draft the best wide out you can and grow collectively? This week we take a look at one of the best receiving prospects in the 2023 class - Quentin Johnston.

Name: Quentin Johnston

Position: WR

School (Year): TCU (Jr.)

Measurables:  6’4”, 215 lbs / 4.4 40-time/ 42-inch vertical / 11-foot broad jump

Career Notes: [2022] All-Big 12 First Team; [2021] All-Big 12 First Team

Best Game: Although Johnston set a personal best in touchdown receptions with three against Oklahoma in 2021, arguably, his best performance came this past October 8 in Lawrence, Kansas as the 18th-ranked Jayhawks hosted Johnston and his Texas Christian University teammates in a key Big-12 matchup. Tied late in the fourth quarter at 31-31, Johnston stepped up and created a moment to remember.

TCU quarterback Max Duggan, a 2022 Heisman Award finalist, launched a 24-yard precision strike to Johnston, who caught the pass over his opposite shoulder for a toe drag score at the back of the endzone. Johnston’s reception was the final score of the game, keeping the Horned Frogs undefeated and atop the Big-12 standings. At the end of the day, Johnston logged 14 receptions for 206 receiving yards along with that game-winning touchdown.

What they’re saying about him: “He cares about winning, he cares about the team, Whatever he can do to help, he’s going to do.” - TCU quarterback Max Duggan

Skill Set: Johnston may be the best combination of size, speed and physicality with production at the receiver position in this class of prospects. Standing 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Johnston is an instant matchup problem for most defensive backs; and his speed (4.4 40-time) disadvantages any linebacker tasked with covering him. With elite height, vertical jumping ability and a wide catching radius Johnston is a primary red zone target, especially near the endzone and showcases an ability to adjust well to passes and his long arms enable him to win the majority of 50/50 balls. A long striding sprinter, he accelerates quickly to his max speed taking the top off of defenses. Displaying the short-area quickness of smaller receivers, Johnston is quick in and out of his cuts showing excellent start and stop maneuverability. A very dangerous player with the ball in his hands, Johnston is extremely decisive after the catch with a knack for breaking tackles.

Why Chicago? In a nutshell, Johnston will be a problem for defenses in the NFL. Taking physical attributes into account, along with production and his mental approach to the game, Johnston may be the best receiver with the highest ceiling heading into the draft. It would be like having Mike Williams of the Los Angeles Chargers on one’s team, but with serious speed.

Accelerating to his top speed and maintaining it downfield makes Johnston a problematic deep threat, as evidenced by his 18.7 yards per catch career college average. Johnston does well leveraging his size to manipulate defenders in order to gain immediate separation, especially on slant routes or quick outs and curls. It’s rare for a man his size to be effective in short areas, but Johnston can operate comfortably in high traffic spaces and thrive. Raised in a military family, he displays a strong work ethic and is refreshingly coachable. If taken by Chicago, Johnston has day one starting potential and would undoubtedly become starting quarterback Justin Fields' favorite target.

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