The New England Patriots are more prepared to add to their team through the NFL Draft than the available free agents around the league or even in a trade with another team. Holding the 14th overall pick, the Patriots are in a good position to make a big splash in the Draft.
When it comes to the offseason, Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon doesn’t hold back when it comes to recruiting players to join him in New England. In the last two years, we’ve seen Judon shoot his shot at Odell Beckham Jr, Allen Robinson, Bobby Wagner, Chandler Jones, and even Aaron Donald.
Most recently, however, Judon shared his thoughts on who he’d like to see the Patriots draft in the first round on Thursday night during an interview with NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah.
"“You can’t have enough offense. I like Quentin Johnston from TCU. I think he’s a long range guy, and he has exceptional hands, he can catch anything, and he can stretch the field. I believe he was good against man, he was good against press, he was good every year he was at TCU and all he did was make big plays in big time games. And I think that’s eventually somebody you can’t leave 1-on-1 and I think as he grows into the offense, he’s just going to make our offense boom even more and he’s going to be a deep ball threat. And I think he’ll be good matched up with Tyquan because those are two fast guys.”"
Judon wants to see the offense thrive and support Mac Jones simultaneously, but he knows he needs the necessary weapons to compete with the level of talent in the NFL.
Quentin Johnston would be an immediate game-changer, even in an infamously complex offense in New England. At 6’3”, 280 lbs, he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds and logged a 40.5” vertical leap at the NFL Combine.
Johnston recorded 115 receptions for 2,190 yards, averaged 19 yards per reception, and scored 14 touchdowns in three years at TCU. What’s so great about Johnston is that he’s an expert route runner. He’s a three-level receiver; he can run the short, intermediate, and deep routes.
What sets Johnston apart from the rest of the receivers in this draft is his big play ability, as Judon referred to. Johnston can talk a short route — the simplest drag route — all the way to the endzone for a touchdown.
Johnston led TCU in receiving yards since 2020, proving he stretches the field. He was Top-3 in receiving yards per reception in the Big-12 throughout his college career; 22.1 (2020), 19.2 (2021), 17.8 (2022).
An interesting stat becoming more evident this year is a quarterback’s QBR when targeting wide receivers. In his 30-game career, quarterbacks averaged a 105.4 QBR during Johnston’s three seasons at TCU.
As Judon mentions, pairing Johnston with 2022 second-round pick Tyquan Thornton and building a wide receiver foundation on the outside can be a lethal near-future situation for the Patriots to equip.
Johnston is 100 percent going to be drafted in the first round and will be a realistic option for the Patriots at 14th overall. Although this draft can fill many holes, Johnston could become the second wide receiver in the Bill Belichick era to be drafted in the first round.
It would make Judon (and Mac Jones) very happy.