The Chargers have gotten to see a lot from their rookie class through the first two preseason games. Either on offense, defense, or special teams, a first-year player has made a splash. That’s great news from a team who may need some young studs to step up in 2023.
Obviously the biggest rookie for the Chargers this year will be Quentin Johnston, the team’s first-round selection out of TCU. He was picked over the likes of Jordan Addison and Zay Flowers as a player who could come in an immediately add a new dynamic to the receiver room. That dynamic being the ability to gain yards after the catch at a higher rate than what they already have.
In his first exhibition against the Rams, Johnston caught three passes for 10 yards and a short score. He also dropped two passes which only further shines a light on the biggest red flag for him as a prospect. Sure, the touchdown makes up for those drops a bit, but it’s still not enough to completely wipe them from the minds of fans and the coaches.
This past Sunday against the Saints, Johnston caught all three targets for 37 yards in a nice bounce-back game. For his efforts, CBS Sports gave him a solid “B” grade after he posted a “C” the week prior.
Here’s what NFL analyst Chris Trapasso had to say about his grade:
“Three grabs from Johnston against the Saints, and I liked he demonstrated the awareness to sit down in zone voids and make himself available. No drops either. He ran a crisp in-breaking route against bail technique too.”
Through two preseason games, Johnston has six receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown. That isn’t exactly the normal stat line we’d expect from a player the Bolts expect to take the top off defenses, but it’s solid nonetheless. That yardage total should honestly be a bit inflated, but one of Johnston’s drops against the Rams came on a go route up the right sideline that he unfortunately let slip through his hands.
His two-game stretch could be a lot worse, in all honesty. However, the more we keep hearing about drops happening in practice, and the lack of extra work to change that, is a bit concerning.
(Far Right): You can beat man-press with a step like this at the stem of the route. Great move & gets open. This stuff usually goes unnoticed while watching the game. The Chargers 1st-round pick is a legitimate weapon. Quentin Johnston will only get better from here, too... pic.twitter.com/xrHJwCaOQD— Ryan DePaul (@RyanDePaul) August 21, 2023