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2023 Rookie Profile: Quentin Johnston, Wide Receiver, TCU

Let's analyze one of the 2023 NFL Draft's most polarizing wide receiver prospects, Quentin Johnston, and his NFL/Dynasty Future

Quentin Johnston is one of the most interesting draft prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft. He’s constantly being debated about when it comes to his future in the NFL. However, one thing is certain; he will be drafted in the First or early Second Round. Johnston went to Texas Christian University. He was the star wide receiver there as he helped lead TCU to their first College Football Championship appearance in decades. Find out below what to expect from this talented giant wide receiver.


  • College: TCU
  • Height: 6’4
  • Weight: 215
  • Age: 21
  • Year: Junior
  • Draft Projection: Mid-First-Early Second Round
Receiving & Rushing Table
Receiving Rushing Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
2020TCUBig 12FRWR82248722.12331.022549019.64
2021TCUBig 12SOWR83363419.262126.003564618.56
*2022TCUBig 12JRWR1460106917.863-7-2.3063106216.96
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 2/22/2023.

College Career

Johnston was a four-star recruit by TCU when he passed up offers from numerous other schools, including Texas and Oklahoma. The Texas native is a giant wide receiver that has been putting up big numbers in a rushing-oriented offense for the past three years. Despite playing during Covid times, Johnston still managed to have a massive 22.1 YPR as a freshman. That was a huge indicator of the future success Johnston would find in the college world. Yet, he wouldn’t find as much success as his talent would indicate.

He’s a former Biletnikoff Award Semi-Finalist and 2021 1st-Team All-Big 12. Johnston was lucky to mostly play with the same quarterback in Max Duggan, who developed a good rapport with him. While Duggan is not the most accurate quarterback at all, he consistently found Johnston, especially down the field.

Johnston was the X-wide receiver and the main force of the team’s passing offense. He’s a prototypical X-wide out with elite size, speed, and fluidity to serve as an NFL team’s number-one wide receiver. At 6’4″, Johnston towers over opposing defensive backs with a great jump/catch radius to rein in passes that would sail over most receivers’ heads. His athleticism is outstanding. Johnston has excellent motion in his hips that would make a salsa dancer crumble from embarrassment. It’s extremely rare to see a giant man have that motion. He can be a future WR1 in the NFL.


Deep Ball Skills/Elite Speed

There’s probably not another wide receiver in this draft as elite as Johnston is at deep ball catches or his speed. Jalin Hyatt is close, but I still favor Johnston. Combine that with his 6’4″ size, and you have a crazy deep-ball receiver that won’t even have to jump high to make difficult or overthrown catches. Too often did a defensive back doubt his speed and watch QJ blow by him. That consistently happened against Michigan, which helped TCU bring back the heavy favorite.

Johnston is far too quick for any ordinary defensive back to stay close to him. He demands double coverage or safety help if you hope to contain him. That’s what Georgia did, which did hold him to one catch. Johnston will open rushing lanes because defenses must devote a deep safety to cover him or risk being burnt on every play. Don’t be shocked if/when QJ runs a sub 4.5 or even 4.4 forty at the NFL Combine.

Athleticism/Hip Fluidity/Agility/YAC Monster

There are endless videos on how agile Johnston is for his size. He has insane hip motions and lateral quickness. Too often, you’ll see him stop quickly to shake defenders before suddenly changing his direction and exploding away from them. I’d say he has the best hip sink in the NFL Draft. As you can see below, he’s got an excellent ability to drop his hips or change directions. This will help in the NFL to avoid the faster defenders and maintain a north-south direction for additional yardage. Plus, it will make it harder for them to tackle them if he can avoid the contact.

In another video, you can see how elite Johnston is at shedding defenders or avoiding them using elite stop-start abilities and unique-Deebo-like agility. This was one of his standout games from the past season. He refuses to go down. QJ constantly pushes for more yardage. He blows through arm tackles. His spin-move is Madden-like with how it works every single time. Johnston is one of the best yards-after-catch players in this draft. That’s one of the biggest reasons to buy a wide receiver in dynasty. You want a guy that can routinely make big plays out of nothing and rack up tons of yardage. It’s tough to bring down this giant by yourself.

According to PFF, he has 26 forced missed tackles since 2020, which was second among Big-12 wide receivers. That’s pretty good, considering the guy’s size. College defenders had to routinely gang-tackle him to avoid his slipperiness. He will be one of the top guys in the NFL at gaining additional yards, so long as he goes to the right system. Please, Patriots, don’t draft him.

Contested Catches

While Johnston has had many concentration drops or issues holding onto the ball, he’s still elite at making contested catches. He can make some superb catches, such as the one below. Johnston has a robust leaping ability, along with the toughness to push through defenders to make a catch. Even when a defender tries to tackle him before the catch, QJ shakes it off like it’s nothing. That resembles AJ Brown to me. After making a contested catch, Johnston can explode downfield once the catch is secure. This has led to many huge yardage gains or touchdowns.



Johnston should be a monster blocker using his size, power, and leverage to open up outside rushing lanes for screens or running backs. However, that’s not the case. He needs a lot of practice to become even a reliable blocker. Too often, he will let guys get right past him. If he goes to a team that uses a lot of outside zones rushes or screens, he’ll have to sharpen that up when he isn’t being used as the receiver in the screen.

Concentration Drops/Hands

Johnston consistently had concentration drops. Plus, he would sometimes easily let go of the ball when faced with contact or coming down to the ground. There were multiple instances when a defensive back could rip the ball out of his hands for an incompletion. Johnston had the 14th most drops in college football last year. However, drops can be improved, especially if they’re concentration. NFL coaches will certainly help him refine his catching technique. They’ll help him not let the ball get so deep into his chest. This will allow him to survive contact when he’s making a catch if he’s not letting the ball hit his chest on most catches.

Lack of Routes/Press Coverage

Johnston wasn’t asked to run many complicated routes in this TCU offense. He usually ran a lot of deep/post routes with some flats and a few curls/hitches. He did them well and often saw a lot of room thanks to his elite speed and hip movement, but it’s hard to know if he can handle a full NFL-route tree due to the lack of exposure. I’m sure Johnston will be able to handle most of it, but until you see it, it’s considered a weakness. One true weakness of his is against press coverage. Too often, he’ll get caught stuck behind the line hand fighting and not get off quickly. With his size, he needs to learn to avoid hand fighting and instead open up or become more twitchy with his feet.

Cornerbacks won’t be able to keep up with him, so he has to avoid that initially lost second getting caught in press. Johnston needs to act like the giant man he is and not be bullied on the field by smaller backs who get up into his chest. The same can be said for his timing when he breaks into his routes. Sometimes, he’ll be a bit slow on his break, which allows the defensive back to catch up or blanket him. You can notice this in the video below.

No True Breakout Year

You would think that Johnston lit up the world as TCU had its best season in what could be team history. Yet, Johnston had good, but not outstanding final numbers when the season ended. He didn’t consistently put up major games. Nor did he perform when faced with tough situations, like in the Championship Game when he had a single catch. However, that can be partially excused due to the team and quarterback play. TCU wasn’t a pass-first offense, affecting how much QJ would see targets. Still, I would’ve liked to have seen him put up a string of dominating performances or at least one huge year.

The Wrap-Up

Johnston is difficult to rank among the incoming rookie wide receivers. If he gets high-draft capital and can prove he has a bigger route running tree, he has the most potential in the draft by far. No one in this draft is even close to his size/speed combo, nor with his deep-ball skills. Johnston is a lock for the rookie-first round in all rookie drafts. Depending on where everyone goes, I’d be eyeing him in the middle of it. He’s got an excellent future ahead of him. Don’t let the Twitter trolls get you down on Johnston. He’s got one of the rarest combinations of size, speed, agility, fluidity, and play-making skills in the NFL, let alone this draft.

If I had to compare him to an NFL player, I’d say he’s a much larger Deebo Samuel. Johnston can do most of what Deebo can, including breaking tackles, extreme speed, contested catches, and being a YAC monster, just at a much larger size. I’m buying on Johnston so long as he gets first-round draft capital. Why take the risk on a much smaller Addison or a guy who missed his whole platform season in Smith-Njigba? Take the guy with the most potential in the NFL Draft at wide receiver.

Do you want to become the best dynasty player you can be? Be sure to use my promo code “Darth” for 15% OFF your subscription to Dynasty Nerds! It makes it only three dollars or so! Connect with me on Twitter @DarthDbacks. I love to talk football, baseball, movies, shows, Star Wars, and Marvel, and interact with the fantasy football community. For more articles of mine, click here.

As always, May the Force be with You

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