Los Angeles Chargers’ GM Identifies Breakout Playmaker For 2024

Joe Hortiz, Los Angeles Chargers
NFL Analysis Network

The Los Angeles Chargers subtracted their two top wide receivers this offseason, trading Keenan Allen and releasing Mike Williams.

As a result, there is considerable concern about the Chargers’ aerial attack heading into 2024. Who will Justin Herbert be throwing to?

Well, general manager Joe Hortiz has identified a potential breakout target: second-year wide out Quentin Johnston.

“Quentin was a player we liked in Baltimore as well last year — a player that I liked,” Hortiz said during an appearance on the Up & Adams Show. “When you look at him, when he was coming out of college, he was an elite size/speed athlete. And you saw some rawness to his game, but you also saw the ability, for as big as he is, 6-3, I think, and 220 pounds, you watch him drop his weight, getting in and out of breaks, come to balance at the top of the route, get out quickly.”

Johnston, who played his collegiate football at TCU, was selected by Los Angeles with the 21st overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft.

He played in every game during his rookie campaign, catching 38 passes for 431 yards and a couple of touchdowns.

But Hortiz sees much bigger things on the horizon for Johnston in 2024.

“He can do some rare things for a player his size,” Hortiz said. “(Coach) Jim (Harbaugh) was on the other sideline in one of his better games (in college), and so we’ve all seen it. We believe in it. He’s a great kid, he’s a great worker. Everyone here has a high opinion of him. I believe he’s really going to launch. I really do. His skill set is great. We’re gonna work with him, make him better and better.”

Johnston will likely be battling with Joshua Palmer for the No. 1 receiver role in training camp and preseason. Los Angeles also selected fellow receiver Ladd McConkey in the second round of the draft late last month and signed veteran DJ Chark in free agency, but it seems like Johnston and Palmer will be the top two guys for LA heading into next season.

The Chargers went just 5-12 last year and have only made a pair of playoff appearances since 2014. We’ll see if they can get back on track come September and whether or not Johnston plays a significant role in the team’s offense.

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