The LA Chargers kicked off the 2023 preseason on Saturday night against the LA Rams. While Justin Herbert and most of the starters did not suit up for the game, there is still plenty of takeaways that fans can hold onto from the game.
The outcome of the game does not matter; instead, is is the individual performances that are the most important. The player with the biggest spotlight in the preseason opener was rookie wide receiver Quentin Johnston, who was selected with the 21st overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Johnston has thrived in training camp thus far and had fans extremely excited for his unofficial NFL debut. Unfortunately, the start of Johnston's first preseason game did not go exactly as planned as the rookie had two early drops in the first quarter alone.
This was the biggest concern around Johnston's game coming into the league. Johnston's incredible size and athleticism made him a first-round prospect but the concerns around his drops and his contested-catch ability is what allowed him to slip to 21 in the first place.
Chargers fans are already starting to worry about Quentin Johnston after his drops
It would not be the return of NFL football without the return of overreactions. Even though this is Johnston's first experience in the NFL, without his star quarterback nonetheless, some fans are acting like this is indicative of Johnston as a whole.
Could the drop problems continue and end up hurting his production as a receiver? Absolutely. To pretend like it isn't something for Johnston to work on is just as disingenuous as overreaction about preseason drops.
But let's not forget that Ja'Marr Chase, who is one of the best receivers in the league, struggled with drops in his first preseason. That feels like a distant memory with how well Chase has played in the NFL since.
Some fans just need to regroup, take a deep breath, and remember that this game against the Rams means absolutely nothing. And even if these issues continue for the rest of the preseason, Johnston has a long NFL career ahead of him. It won't be defined by his performance in his first-ever preseason.