FORT WORTH, TX - SEPTEMBER 04: TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Quentin Johnston (1) fights for a pass during the game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Duquesne Dukes on September 4, 2021 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
FORT WORTH, TX - SEPTEMBER 04: TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Quentin Johnston (1) fights for a pass during the game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Duquesne Dukes on September 4, 2021 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There Is One Big Problem With TCU Receiver Quentin Johnston

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Quentin Johnston looks really good.

At first glance, this TCU receiver reminded me of Seahawks’ superstar D.K. Metcalf.

That’s how how good Johnston looked initially on game film.

I mean there is little wonder so many draft platforms love him.

Johnston ranks highly on NFL Draft platforms

You name it, and they probably have Johnston going in the opening round of the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft.

SB Nation, Pro Football Network, FanSided, Walter Football, CBS, Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports Chicago, Draftwire, Rise N Draft, The Sporting News, The 33rd Team, Pro Football Focus, and FOX Sports all see Johnston as a first-round talent.

Johnston has everything a team would want in a No. 1 receiver. He has dominant size, long arms, he runs like a sprinter, he runs good looking routes, and he is super athletic.

He has this alpha, dynamic vibe that reminds me of Cardinals’ superstar receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Johnston has shown he can be a human highlight reel with big play capability, and a legitimate deep game.

So what’s the problem?

His hands.

That’s what the game film revealed (embedded into his evaluation below), and the game film doesn’t lie.

In this three game study, I counted six passes he should have hauled in that he couldn’t come up with.

Plus, an additional fumble after a catch versus West Virginia.

That scares me.

Johnston looks like he has the whole package, except dependable hands, and nothing is more important as an NFL wide receiver.

I mean the numbers don’t lie any more than the game film does.

🚩2022 (to date): 8 receptions on 16 targets

2021: 33 receptions on 61 targets

2020: 22 receptions on 44 targets

Football resume to date: 63 receptions on 121 targets

Johnston is catching 52% of targeted passes🚩

Can somebody say “Hollywood Brown”

I wrote an article about wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown in 2021, and he had a hard time catching the football too.

He too was loaded with dynamic playmaking ability that shined through the clouds on game film, but he should have signed a deal with Butterfinger candy bars to do commercials.

Eventually, Baltimore had enough of the drops and traded him this past off-season to Arizona.

The frightening part is despite Hollywood Brown’s reputation for having a case of the dropsies, to date through his first four seasons in the NFL, he has caught 219 out of 351 targets (62%).

Compare that to Johnston’s numbers up above.

Are we looking at another Hollywood Brown situation with Johnston?

#1 Quentin Johnston 6-foot-4, 215 pounds

Daniel Kelly’s Grade: Second-Round – Early Fall 2022 Report

First Round Mock Big Board: TBD

Projected by 64.2% of the NFL Draft Community to be a first-round pick as of September 27, 2022 (nflmockdraftdatabase.com)

2021 game film reviewed: Oklahoma, Kansas State and West Virginia (click to watch games viewed to form this evaluation)

2021 stats: 33 receptions (61 targets) 612 yards (18.5 avg.), 6 TD, 75-long

Level of competition: High

NFL comparable: Michael Westbrook

2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report:

Dominant elite athlete with limited production and he is catching about half of what is thrown in his direction. Shows initial quickness and does a good job creating route leverage. Nice big target on bubble screens and boxes out on the short underneath stuff. Drives hard and looks like a sprinter getting into the intermediate routes. Good, but not great football playing speed. Able to quickly break off routes. Can create separation and get aggressive with corners at break points. Trademark route is a deeper level comeback. Runs a crisp looking slant. Determined runner after the catch. Shows good ball tracking skills deep. Decent ability to high point and come down with contested catches with strength. Drops some he should not drop and has above average, but not an elite catch radius. Able to motion in and take a hand off. Works at blocking. Intriguing prospect.

What to watch for during the 2022 college football season:

  1. What is his catch-to-target percentage?
  2. Does he drop some passes he shouldn’t be dropping?
  3. Does he have a breakout year for production?
  4. How does his catch radius look?

I love everything about Johnston except the 52% catch percentage.

Daniel Kelly is a former NFL Scout with the New York Jets. He was hired on the regime which featured Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, Mike Tannenbaum, and Dick Haley. He currently writes for Sports Illustrated New York Jets and he is the Editor-in-Chief for First Round Mock. For more information about him visit his website at whateverittakesbook.com. He can be followed on Twitter @firstroundmock.

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