The 2023 NFL Draft may be more than six months away, but it’s never too early to start making projections. Wide receiver has become one of the most important positions in the pass-happy NFL, and teams will line up to draft a promising young star. One of those stars has been on a tear the last couple of weeks, and is gaining significant draft hype as a result. TCU junior Quentin Johnston had a very quiet start to the season with just 12 catches for 114 yards in four games. Since then, though, Johnston has been nothing short of fantastic for a breakout Horned Frogs team.
Johnston began his hot streak with an incredible game against Kansas, recording 14 catches for 206 yards and a score. He then followed that up with another stellar performance against Oklahoma State on Saturday, posting eight catches for 180 yards and a touchdown. He has been rapidly rising up draft boards with his recent performances, with most analysts slotting him in the first round.
I think TCU WR Quentin Johnston is solidifying himself as a first-round lock.
Coming off of a 206-yard game against Kansas, he has 5 catches for 100 yards in the third quarter today. Dude’s a stud. pic.twitter.com/7wP55RYW2v
— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) October 15, 2022
Wide receiver is at a premium in the NFL, and many teams will want to draft Johnston come April. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the best NFL fits for the TCU star.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars invested a lot into pass-catchers this offseason, and the results have been decent so far. Christian Kirk has surprisingly fared well as the top option, while Marvin Jones Jr. and Zay Jones round out a solid receiver trio. Still, Jacksonville is missing a true game-changing receiver, and it remains a position of need.
Johnston could be just what the Jaguars need. He has the athleticism and route-running ability like Jacksonville’s current trio, but what really sets him apart is his size. At 6-foot-4, Johnston has a whopping five inches on Kirk, and two on the other two. He’s also significantly bulkier at 215 pounds, compared to the other three all weighing around 200 pounds.
Johnston’s huge size allows him to go up and fight for the ball in a way Jacksonville’s current receivers can’t. Trevor Lawrence would appreciate a big target for jump balls, and the Jaguars should strongly consider Johnston if he’s available.
2. New York Giants
The Giants have had a surprisingly strong start to the season, but they’re rolling out a skeleton crew at receiver. New York’s top three receivers right now are Darius Slayton, Marcus Johnson and Richie James. Injuries have decimated the Giants’ receiving corps, as Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepherd and Kadarius Toney are all banged up.
Even when healthy, though, the Giants may still have questions at receiver next year. Toney is reportedly on the trade block, and Golladay may be on the way out if he continues to underperform. No matter how you slice it, New York needs receiver help.
Johnston could be a tremendous asset for Big Blue if he’s available. He has nearly identical measurements to Golladay, so he could be a cheaper and potentially more productive replacement if the Giants decide to part ways with him. He is also significantly bigger than most Giants receivers, including the six-foot Toney and 5-foot-10 Shepherd.
Whether it’s Daniel Jones or someone else, New York’s quarterback would love to have a big, reliable target. Johnston would bring a huge boost to a Giants’ passing attack that ranks 31st in the league this season.
1. Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis’ wide receiver issues need no introduction. Michael Pittman Jr. is a good option and rookie Alec Pierce has shown promise this season, but that’s it. Just take a look at last season, when Pittman was the only Colt with over 400 receiving yards.
Indianapolis may be a run-first team, but still needs someone to catch passes. The Colts have cycled through quarterbacks like no other team the last few years, and a big part of those struggles has been due to a lack of playmaking pass-catchers. Whether it be Phillip Rivers, Carson Wentz or Matt Ryan under center, the receiving talent just hasn’t been there.
Unlike the Jaguars and Giants, the Colts already have some size at receiver. Pittman and Pierce are both at least 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, about the same size as Johnston. However, that means opposing defenses can’t put all of their attention on just one receiver, forcing more one-on-one matchups.
Indy has incredible talent on his roster, with a league-high seven Pro-Bowlers last season. That talent is going to waste without an effective passing game, and the Colts need to address it soon. If they can’t take a quarterback this April, they should definitely consider taking Johnston.