NFL Rookie Receiving Yards Betting: Quentin Johnston Is California Dreamin'

Gabriel Santiago
Gabriel Santiago@gps_onthemic
NFL Rookie Receiving Yards Betting: Quentin Johnston Is California Dreamin'

With the 21st overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers selected wide receiver Quentin Johnston out of Texas Christian University.

With the Chargers, Johnston will immediately join a talented skill group on offense. Quarterback Justin Herbert should have his most dynamic supporting cast yet.

When it comes to rookies, the wide receiver position -- especially compared to quarterbacks and linemen -- has proven most immediately ready for the NFL in recent years.

Looking at the NFL rookie odds market on FanDuel Sportsbook, Johnston sits at +550 to produce the most regular season rookie receiving yards in 2023-24, which is the third-best odds in the market. Jordan Addison of the Minnesota Vikings (+230) is the favorite.

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Built For The League

Off the bat, it does seem that the bar is continually being raised when it comes to the rookie receiving market. Over the past four seasons, we have seen dazzling performances from Garrett Wilson (last season's winner), Ja'Marr Chase (2021 winner), Justin Jefferson (2020) and A.J. Brown (2019) that each produced well over 1,000 receiving yards to lead all fellow rookies at the time.

Johnston -- especially in the current Chargers offense -- is certainly capable of this level of production. He was a three-year starter at TCU, playing a crucial role for the Horned Frogs in 2022 en route to a Big 12 title and CFP National Championship appearance.

From afar, Johnston resembles a young Randy Moss; I said what I said. Towering over defensive backs at 6-foot-4, Johnston excels at utilizing his 40.5-inch (measured at the 2023 NFL Combine) vertical leap to haul in passes. Herbert should be champing at the bit to install Johnston into the starting lineup.

A Favorable Spot

Along with Johnston, the Bolts already have two other star receivers with large frames. Keenan Allen (6-foot-2) and Mike Williams (6-foot-4) have both been with Herbert since he was cast into the starting role back in 2020. At the moment, Ourlads has Johnston positioned along the right side with Williams on the left, leaving Allen at his usual place in the slot.

Genuinely, that is a serviceable receiving corps even with the lamest of signal callers at the helm. Still, it is a rocket-armed Herbert that takes the snaps for the Chargers.

Herbert's long-range accuracy (50 completed passes of 20-plus yards in 2022) combined with Johnston's high-pointing ability will translate to plenty of shots downfield. Remember, Johnston does not have to lead all rookies in catches to cash this market -- just receiving yardage. With Allen and Williams drawing attention of their own, Johnston has the potential to eat, so best bring your bib.

The Bolts also have a certified stud in the backfield, as well. One of the strongest players in the NFL, halfback Austin Ekeler, runs through lanes like a cannonball. His speed, agility, and catching abilities are all better than average. Between rushing and receiving, Ekeler found the end zone 18 times last year -- most in the NFL. His presence alone will bring to fruition countless play-action opportunities for the young Johnston and others.

Johnston's 2023 Outlook

To lead all NFL rookies in receiving is no small task. All winners of this market in the five most recent seasons have transitioned into certified stars. Re-check the above list if you must. Regardless, I believe Johnston has that level of potential.

Johnston is arriving in a friendly situation for a rookie wideout. Herbert is one of the top young quarterbacks of the modern era, and the offense has other weapons to leave Johnston in favorable matchups. For a 6-foot-4 receiver, that could be hyperproductive.

At +550, Johnston has the third-shortest odds to lead all rookies in receiving yardage over the upcoming campaign. If you were looking to take it a step further, Johnston shows +2500 (eighth-best) odds in the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year odds market at FanDuel Sportsbook.

The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author’s advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.