TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston has declared for the 2023 NFL Draft after three productive years with the program. Johnston, a former blue-chip recruit from Temple, Texas, is projected by CBS Sports analysts as a first-round (and potential top-10) pick.
"I would like to first thank God for the ups and downs he's put me through on my journey here at TCU ... things weren't always the easiest but I feel like they have fully prepared me for this next step in my career," Johnston wrote on his Twitter account. "With that being said, I have made the decision to leave TCU and chase my life-long dream of being in the NFL and have officially declared."
Johnston was a longtime Texas pledge in the Class of 2020 but ultimately flipped to TCUf and went on to have one of the greatest careers by a receiver in Horned Frogs history. His 1,069 yards as a junior is the second-best single-season effort by a TCU receiver, and his numbers would have been even better if not for injury issues. More importantly, Johnston oversaw the program improving from 11-11 in his first two seasons to 13-2 with a berth in the College Football Playoff National Championship.
In three years, Johnston posted 115 catches for 2,190 yards and 14 touchdowns. Perhaps more impressively, Johnston averaged 19.0 yards per catch for his career.
Johnston's draft projections
Johnston is a near-consensus pick as the top wide receiver available, with three of four CBS Sports NFL Draft analysts mocking Johnston first off the board. He ranks as the No. 23 player in the 2023 Prospect Rankings, sandwiched as the No. 2 wideout between USC's Jordan Addison and Ohio State's Jaxon Smith-Njigba.
"Johnston's an above-the-rim playmaker whose athleticism and contested-catch abilities make him WR1 at this point in the proceedings," wrote CBS Sports NFL Draft analyst Ryan Wilson , slotting Johnston as the No. 9 pick to the Carolina Panthers.
While Johnston's collegiate production was solid, he has a shot to thrive in the NFL with his combination of speed, athleticism and astonishing size. He has the ability to make plays as a route runner out of the slot or get up outside against physical corners. There could be an adjustment process, but Johnston's ceiling is high.
New start for TCU offense
Johnston is one of the final big names to enter the 2023 NFL Draft, but he was far from the only one off TCU's historic squad. Quarterback Max Duggan, All-American lineman Steve Avila and Thorpe Award winner Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson all announced they would try their hand in the NFL. Fellow underclassman running back Kendre Miller also entered the draft on Monday, while other top receivers Taye Barber and Derius Davis are out of eligibility.
With Johnston gone, TCU is virtually starting from scratch offensively. Tight end Jared Wiley opted to return for another season and should play a bigger role in the offense with Chandler Morris expected to take over at quarterback. Massive 6-foot-5 receiver Savion Williams showed flashes of stardom, while Jordan Hudson is a promising freshman. The Frogs also added former Aledo High School star JoJo Earle as a transfer from Alabama.