The Los Angeles Chargers selected seven players in the 2023 NFL Draft. With their first round, 21st overall pick, the Bolts drafted TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston. Head coach Brandon Staley mentioned how Johnston will be mentored by the likes of wideouts Mike Williams and Keenan Allen.
“He’s a weapon to score the ball any time that he touches it,” Chargers head coach Staley said. “There are very few receivers in the game who are threats to score the ball whenever they have it.”
His main lesson from TCU is discipline on and off the field. Despite the 65-7 loss to Georgia in the CFP National Championship, Johnston mentioned how that was a good platform for the Horned Frogs.
“Obviously, it didn’t turn out the way we wanted it to,” Johnston said. “Now I have a second chance to come back and win week after week on the same stage, kind of get that sour taste out of my mouth.”
Student Athlete of the Week: Mark Perry
The Overtime Lakers Defeat Memphis Grizzlies In Game Four
Johnston was one of three TCU players the Chargers drafted. They acquired wide receiver Derius Davis as the 125 overall pick and quarterback Max Duggan in the seventh round.
The Bolts also chose local talent to improve their defense. With their 54th pick, they chose defensive lineman Tuli Tuipulotu, who attended Lawndale high school and USC. At the 85th pick, the Chargers selected Crenshaw alum, Daiyan Henley.
“I think that he’s a complete player,” Staley said. “The fact that he has that physicality and toughness to play blocks in the core … for him to go into linebacker and then be the playmaker that he was, and then you know the blitzing, to me., is a big winning edge for him.”
Henley was a starting quarterback at Crenshaw and played several positions throughout his college career.
“I’ve been able to see the football from all types of perspectives,” Henley said. “Learning the game that way helps you be more capable to do one job because you know so many jobs on that football field.”
Staley noted how Tuipulotu knows how to make plays, calling him a “rugged, tough player.”
“He played everywhere for [USC], inside and outside,” Staley said. “He’s a natural player. That’s why he makes so many plays, because he’s not just doing it on the edge and he’s not just doing it inside, he’s doing it from everywhere.”
The Bolts used their fifth and sixth round picks to acquire linemen, drafting Clemson offensive lineman Jordan McFadden and Boise State defensive tackle Scott Matlock.
To celebrate the 2023 NFL Draft, the Chargers hosted a party for fans at Westfield Century City Mall. The party featured appearances from several current Chargers players, including quarterback Justin Herbert, corner Asante Samuel Jr., Allen, linebacker Eric Kendricks, and safety Derwin James Jr.. Prior to the draft, James noted how he hoped the Chargers picked hardworking players regardless of their position.
“Whatever they pick, I’m gonna be happy,” James said. “I just hope they get a dawg that’s ready to come in and work, no puppies.”