With the 21st overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the LA Chargers selected TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston. Los Angeles desperately needed receiver depth not just for the upcoming season but for the immediate future with Mike Williams and Keenan Allen's futures unclear.
Most fans are always going to look at the glass as half full before a season begins. It does not matter who the Chargers ended up picking at 21, most of the fanbase would have talked itself into said player being the best rookie at his position. If the Chargers selected Zay Flowers then the same fans who are calling Johnston the best rookie receiver would say the same for Flowers.
That is all fine, it is part of the fandom. However, this often leads to unfair expectations for players, which in turn leads to unwarranted backlash when said players don't live up to the massively high expectations.
That seems to be the case with Johnston ahead of his rookie season. Some fans think that there are massive things in store for Johnston in his rookie season when in fact, it might take more time for him to be a massive difference-maker. Fans should be tempering these expectations, that way they aren't calling Johnston a bust when he naturally falls short.
Chargers fans need to temper expectations for Quentin Johnston in his rookie season
First of all, Ceedee Lamb and Quentin Johnston are completely different receivers and using the height of both players as justification as to why Johnston will have a 1,000-yard season in his rookie year doesn't make much sense. There is plenty more that goes into a receiver than height.
Second of all, unless the Chargers are torn apart with injuries and Johnston is forced to play a much bigger role in the offense, the odds of him getting to over 1,000 yards in his rookie year are pretty slim. In fact, if Allen and Williams both hit 1,000 yards that indicates that they are healthy and Johnston is going to play fewer snaps.
The Chargers' wide receiver room is very deep and as long as everyone stays healthy Johnston could end up being the WR4. Some fans are already penciling him into being the WR3 over Joshua Palmer and while that might happen, Palmer is also coming off of a career year and is more developed.
The Chargers do not need to rush Johnston into the fire, especially when there are areas of his game (such as his drops) that need to be developed. He is going to play a role in his rookie season absolutely, but not as big as fans think.
In reality, as long as the team is mostly healthy, Johnston will likely finish with 600-700 receiving yards in his rookie year. And that will still be a very solid season! The same fans that are expecting him to have over 1,000 yards as a rookie shouldn't be disappointed with this kind of output.
Because at the end of the day, it is very rare for a team to have three players with 1,000 receiving yards. It has only happened five times in NFL history. With Allen, Williams, Palmer, Austin Ekeler and Gerald Everett in the offense, Johnston likely won't get the touches to get to 1,000 yards and that is more than okay.