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Quentin Johnston Thrust into Lead Role After Receiver Shakeup

With the departures of long time receiver Keenan Allen and former first round draft selection Mike Williams, the Los Angeles Chargers are extremely thin at their receiving corps. This season the team must look to second year receiver Quentin Johnston to take over and produce like a first round selection should.

Last season, Johnston had an extremely lackluster rookie campaign earning only 431 yards on 38 receptions for two touchdowns. Turning on the Chargers game would amount to watching Johnston struggle to find his footing within a very pass friendly offensive scheme, something that should not have occurred.

While it is way too late to call him a first round ‘bust’, like many sports analysts are already doing, it is a great opportunity for him in year two to be that leader within the receiving room with two pillars of consistency leaving in free agency.

Keenan Allen was recently traded to the Chicago Bears and Mike Williams signed a one year contract worth up to $15 million (incentives) with the New York Jets. Both of these receivers during their time with the Chargers amassed a whopping 15,336 total yards, a far outcry from the under 500 yards that Johnston accumulated in 2023.

Don’t get it twisted – Johnston had first round potential when the Chargers drafted him last year and recently former Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. mentioned how Johnston must step up this season and he believes that he is a more athletic athlete than Williams is. Harris Jr. believes that Johnston could be the number one wide receiver and has high expectations for him this year.

While all of this is just speculation, the great news about the departures of Allen and Williams is that the current roster of receivers is the following:

  • Joshua Palmer
  • Simi Fehoko

Honestly, those are the only two outside receivers who are on the roster and have experience. Palmer had a slightly better season than Johnston, but not by much. He caught 38 receptions for 581 yards and scored an identical two touchdowns compared to Johnston. Fehoko caught one reception for nine yards and one touchdown in 2023, and his abilities have not been shown due to a lack of playing experience.

Could the Chargers new leadership under Harbaugh look for a free agent veteran receiver to help out Johnston and the others? This question remains to be seen but with the NFL draft roughly a month away, expect one of the Chargers’ nine draft picks with a very heavy receiver class, to fill this void that is missing on the offensive side of the ball.

Ultimately, Johnston will need to produce and show his worth as a former first round draft pick. His 6’4″ body frame is an attribute and skillset that needs to be utilized properly, especially in the red zone. Having only two touchdowns last season is malpractice and the new offensive staff must get Johnston involved within the offensive scheme.

Whether or not he succeeds is totally up to him, but new offensive coordinator Greg Roman must establish a running game and then implement play action to get the vertical passing attack working with their former first round draft selection. Herbert must accurately throw the football and Johnston, who was plagued with several drops a season ago, must have an outstanding offseason to become the new leader and difference maker within the organization.


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