The New England Patriots have good depth at wide receiver, but they lack a true playmaker at the position. Nobody on the team's wide receiver depth chart is going to keep opposing defensive coordinators awake at night.
The best place to find that kind of player before the upcoming season might be the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, which takes place Thursday night in Kansas City.
There are four wide receivers -- TCU's Quentin Johnston, Boston College's Zay Flowers, USC's Jordan Addison and Ohio State's Jaxon Smith-Njigba -- who could be selected in Round 1.
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The Patriots own the No. 14 overall pick, and one of their best players -- veteran linebacker Matthew Judon -- wants them to select Johnston.
“You can’t have enough offense. I like Quentin Johnston from TCU," Judon said Monday on NFL Network. "I think he’s a long, rangy guy. 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.
“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. I think he’ll be good matched up with Tyquan (Thornton) because those are two fast guys.”
New England Patriots
Johnston tallied 60 receptions for 1,069 yards and six touchdowns over 14 games for TCU last season. He played a major role in the Horned Frogs reaching the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, where they lost to Georgia.
Johnston has the athleticism and size (6-foot-4 and 193 pounds) to be successful at the NFL level. The Patriots also met with Johnston at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis back in March.
The meeting went well.
"Oh yeah. It was very fun and exciting," Johnston told our Phil 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 a good conversation. I felt pretty confident going out of that meeting."
We'll find out in a few days if the Patriots are going to draft a wide receiver in Round 1. They also could target a cornerback or offensive tackle at No. 14 overall.