Decoding Chargers’ Draft Choice: Quentin Johnston Over Zay Flowers and Jordan Addison: Understanding LA’s Selection Process

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As the 2023 NFL Draft unfolded, the wide receiver position drew significant attention and speculation. The Los Angeles Chargers eventually secured TCU’s Quentin Johnston as their pick in the first round, selecting him at No. 21 overall. However, there were other notable candidates around the same draft position, including Jordan Addison, formerly of Pittsburgh, and Zay Flowers from Boston College.

The Chargers’ decision-making process revolved significantly around the evaluations and insights provided by scout Tyler Lyon. Lyon extensively scouted prospects within Johnston’s geographical area, monitoring players expected to declare for the draft or those a year or two away from doing so. His focus on Johnston began during the player’s freshman year at TCU. As time progressed, several members of the Chargers’ staff closely followed Johnston’s progress, seemingly solidifying his position as the team’s preferred choice at their draft spot.

Los Angeles was particularly impressed by Johnston’s skill set, both in terms of tangible and intangible qualities. His prowess in gaining yards after catching the ball emerged as a specific reason behind the Chargers’ selection.

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General Manager Tom Telesco emphasized Johnston’s blend of size, strength, and speed as valuable assets for a player. Additionally, he praised Johnston’s work ethic, highlighting the importance of continuous improvement for players transitioning to the NFL. Telesco also emphasized the unique role Johnston could play within the Chargers’ offense, providing versatility and different options for Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore and quarterback Justin Herbert.

Despite some belief that Jordan Addison and Zay Flowers might have been more polished and NFL-ready prospects, the Chargers’ decision to opt for Johnston surprised many, especially considering Addison’s existing connections within the Chargers coaching staff.

Regarding Johnston’s performance in the 2023 season, his recent impact has been relatively subdued. A dropped pass from quarterback Justin Herbert in a critical moment against the Packers resulted in a game-deciding loss for the team.

Here are Johnston’s stats for the season

Category Stat
Receptions 20
Receiving yards 183
Receiving touchdowns 1
Carries 1
Rushing yards 2
Rushing touchdowns 0

 

Here are Zay Flowers’s stats for the season

Category Stat
Receptions 53
Receiving yards 588
Receiving touchdowns 1
Carries 7
Rushing yards 19
Rushing touchdowns 0