Elite WR prospect details ‘exciting' pre-draft meeting with Patriots

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The New England Patriots added two quality pass-catchers this offseason in JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Gesicki, but the consensus is that they still could use more firepower in their wide receiver room.

Might they find that firepower early in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Several elite wide receiver prospects are projected to be taken in the first round, including TCU's Quentin Johnston, who met with the Patriots at the NFL Scouting Combine and claimed it was his best interaction of the week in Indianapolis

Johnston joined our Phil Perry on a special edition of the Next Pats Podcast to share more details on his interview with New England staffers and his thoughts about potentially playing for Bill Belichick.

Next Pats: TCU’s Quentin Johnston explains the EXPLOSIVE element he could bring to Patriots | Listen & Follow | Watch on YouTube

"Oh yeah. It was very fun and exciting," Johnston told Perry of his meeting with the Patriots. "I walked in and obviously everybody was happy to see me. But I mean overall, the meeting went smoothly. We had we had a good conversation. I felt pretty confident going out of that meeting."

Johnston admitted Patriots staffers peppered him with some difficult questions out of the gate, but said it was smooth sailing from that point on.

"To an extent initially, but then as the meeting went on, it kind of got more chill," Johnston said. "We just got into some football talk, which obviously I'm very familiar with. So it was all good after that."

As for the opportunity to play for Belichick, who joined the Patriots before Johnston was born, the 21-year-old wideout seemed enthused.

"It would mean a lot, obviously -- nothing short of a blessing," Johnston said. "Like you said, they've been winning games and championships since before I could walk. And one head coach, obviously he has a great idea of what he's doing. So, just to be under him and the rest of this coaching staff would be amazing to me."

At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Johnston boasts a rare combination of speed and athleticism that helped him rack up 1,067 receiving yards and six touchdowns for the Horned Frogs last season. He could slot into the traditional "X" role held by DeVante Parker in 2022 and give quarterback Mac Jones a legitimate boundary threat who can also make things happen with the ball in his hands.

"I feel like the strongest part of my game is my yards after catch and what I can do after I catch the ball," Johnston told Perry, adding that he has a singular mindset when he's on the field.

"Shoot, honestly, score. I could be on the 1-yard going in or the 1-yard line coming out. I'm just thinking of scoring and putting six points up for my team."

Belichick and the Patriots have a checkered past when it comes to drafting receivers and whiffed on N'Keal Harry in the first round (No. 32 overall) just four years ago. But the positional need is there, and if the team doesn't trade for a wideout like Jerry Jeudy or DeAndre Hopkins, a player like Johnston could be in their sights.

To hear more from Johnston on which part of his game he wants to improve and his favorite play at TCU, subscribe to the Next Pats Podcast or watch on YouTube below.

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