A potential first-round draft pick will be watching from home come NFL draft day. Wide receiver Quentin Johnston from TCU reportedly had his invite withheld by the league.
That withholding comes with a possible slide from Day 1 in mind. Fans online are now posting reactions to the news.
Johnston was a star for the Horned Frogs, helping them reach their first ever College Football Playoff and a national championship game. The pass catcher hauled in 60 receptions to total 1,069 yards and six touchdowns last year.
The wideout absolutely went off in the CFP matchup versus Michigan, going for 163 yards and a TD. This coming a game after a 139-yard performance in the Big XII Championship Game.
Following the productive season, Johnston opted to declare for the draft.
Many believed that he’d be a first-round selection as his name showed up early and often on mock boards. Unfortunately, the NFL fears that he might ultimately fall to Day 2 during the selection process.
We’ve seen it before.
A player with high grades winds up slipping for whatever reason. It can be quite awkward to see that player waiting with family and friends in hopes of hearing their name called only to watch others walk onto the stage with Roger Goodell.
In order to avoid this situation, the NFL decided to invite only those who they believe will see a first-round selection.
The NFL reportedly withheld a draft invite from Quentin Johnston out of fear for an “awkward” TV moment.
The league reportedly believes Johnston could be selected between picks “20-28” but could also fall completely out of the first round.
However, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Jordan… pic.twitter.com/qRyKNCrCpE
— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) April 15, 2023
Fans were not happy with the decision. Many quickly raced to social media to post their reactions to the news. Those upset quickly pointed out other players with similar draft grades that will be in attendance.
This person wrote, “This makes 0 sense. Keion White, who got an invite and accepted, has the exact same range as Johnston…”
Someone else said, “Jordan Addison isn’t much better than QJ if better at all.”
Another follower commented, “He went from being the best WR in the draft and being a top half round 1 player to not even being in round 1 and he didn’t even do anything.”
It seems that NFL teams may have some concerns with Quentin Johnston’s injury history, as well as his physicality and ability to make contested catches. He also measured in shorter than anticipated at the Combine and didn’t run in the 40-yard dash, though he would run a sub-4.5 time at the TCU pro day.
We’ll see where Johnston winds up on draft day. At this time, he still appears to have a late first-round outlook.