LA Chargers fans had no idea who the team was going to take with the 21st overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. There was a lot of speculation and theories about what the team was going to do but when it was all said and done, the Chargers still managed to surprise many by taking TCU's Quentin Johnston.
There is a lot to fall in love with about Johnston but there are also some stark negatives that hurt his draft stock. With better route running and hands, Johnston would have been a guaranteed top-10 pick in this draft. However, those traits ultimately caused him to fall down the board.
Johnston has time to develop those aspects of his game with the Chargers as he won't be asked to be the WR1 right away. It is clear that the Chargers love him and fans should be excited about the long-term potential of him in Los Angeles.
The team loves him so much that head coach Brandon Staley was willing to stick his neck out to the media and make an extremely bold claim about Johnston; one that is not sitting well with Georgia football fans.
Chargers' HC Brandon Staley thinks Quentin Johnston was better than any Georgia player in the National Championship
For those that might not be aware, Georgia beat TCU in the National Championship Game 65-7. In that game the Bulldogs were able to completely neutralize Johnston, holding him to one reception for only three yards.
To be fair, Georgia was very much game-planning against Johnston and taking him out of the game was the no. 1 priority. It was not fully Johnston's fault that he laid such a goose egg in this game. But to call him the best player on the field? That is a bit rich.
Most coaches would probably agree that Jalen Carter or Broderick Jones were the best players on the field that night. Both of those players were drafted ahead of Johnston in the first round.
Georgia football fans being outraged at this comment certainly makes sense, but what else is Staley supposed to say? Johnston is his guy now and it isn't new for a head coach to go out and elevate his guy to the media. Did he take it a step too far? Probably. But if that gives Johnston the confidence he needs to succeed in the NFL then so be it.