Quentin Johnston Admits Brutal Truth About Rookie-Year Performance

The former first-round pick was brutally honest about his struggles as a rookie last season.
Los Angeles Chargers OTA Offseason Workout
Los Angeles Chargers OTA Offseason Workout / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Chargers had high expectations for former TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston last season after taking him with the No. 21 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Johnston seemed like the perfect fit on paper, next to veterans Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, who will draw attention from defenders, giving Johnston favorable matchups in the slot or on the perimeter.

However, that wasn’t the case for the young wide receiver as he struggled mightily in his first year and couldn’t step up as the WR2 after Williams went down with a season-ending knee injury (torn ACL). 

Johnston had 38 receptions (67 targets) for 431 yards and two touchdowns. The 22-year-old receiver spoke with reporters Tuesday about his rookie season, including an egregious drop in Week 11 against the Green Bay Packers.

“At the catch-point, taking my eyes off of it. I look it all the way in. I feel like it was a lack of focus all together," Johnston said (h/t Kevin Patra of NFL.com and Chargers team site). "It was straight-up unacceptable. I always kind of go back to that moment when I step back out on practice or if I'm feeling a certain type of way at practice, I always go back to that. OK, if I take a day off here, it'll kind of correlate or wind down into a game like that, which, obviously, I do not want again."

The rookie wide receiver isn’t happy with how he played in that game and doesn’t want to have the same thing happen this season. The good news for Johnston is that it’s a brand new season and he’ll be working with a new wide receiver coach in Sanjay Lal, who has worked with Seattle Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf over the last two years. 

The Chargers wide receiver coach also worked with Amari Cooper in Dallas and T.Y. Hilton in Indianapolis in his career.

Chargers fans weren’t happy with Johnston’s performance in 2023. With the team not having Allen or Williams this season, it’s a prime opportunity for Johnston to change the narrative about himself and become one of the Chargers’ top pass-catching threats in 2024.

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