The Chargers have a good receiving corps with Malcom Floyd, Keenan Allen and the new additions of Stevie Johnson and Jacoby Jones. There is still one more spot open, and the Chargers need to figure out who’s going to fill that fifth spot.
That one guy, Antonio Gates, is pretty damn good, as well; albeit the tight end will miss four games due to suspension.
There is a player we have already seen in real game action, and that man is Dontrelle Inman.
Inman, the Virginia product, filled in nicely for Allen last season after breaking his collar bone. Inman was an undrafted free agent that originally signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011. He had 12 receptions for 158 yards. While averaging 13.2 yards per catch, Inman’s longest play was 28 yards. He was only targeted 17 times. This means he caught 71% of the balls Rivers thrown his way. He also got the Chargers seven first downs.
Next we have Austin Pettis.
Pettis was drafted in the third round with 78th overall pick by the St. Louis Rams. Pettis also has playing experience under his belt, while playing with the Rams. In his four years of playing with the Rams, Pettis started in 47 games. He had 107 receptions for 1,034 yards and averaged 9.7 yards per catch. Pettis’ longest play was 36 yards. He gave the Rams 62 first downs and 9 touchdowns.
Another good candidate is rookie prospect Titus Davis. Davis played college ball at Central Michigan. While playing there, he had 204 receptions for 3,700 yards. He averaged 18.1 yards per reception along with 37 total touchdowns. He also had 15 rushes for 113 yards, while averaging 7.5 yards per carry.
Next is Javontee Herndon.
Herndon is a second-year pro out of the University of Arkansas. In college, Herndon had 62 receptions for 910 yards. He averaged 14.7 yards per catch, adding touchdowns. He also had four rushes for 60 yards.
Finally, somebody that the team and media loves, Tyrell Williams.
Williams played at Western Oregon. He had the school’s all-time record with 156 catches. He had 2,792 receiving yards, and he was good for 21 touchdowns. He has a great size, while also being speedy.
All five of these guys have a solid chance, but only one will win that fifth spot. I strongly believe it will be Inman, considering that we’ve seen what he can do for the Chargers in the regular season.
Rick Reiff Jr.
Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk writes about the fate of a new Rivers’ contract prior to the season beginning.
Articles from Chargers.com:
An interesting piece from the LA Times in 1985 which talks in-depth about Alex Spanos.
Michael Gehlken of The San Diego Union-Tribune talks about the high praise the Chargers’ receivers have for cornerback Jason Verrett.
Tom Krasovic of The San Diego Union-Tribune writes a post about Melvin Gordon overcoming jitters.
The close of the 2014 NFL season for the San Diego Chargers was pretty dismal. The team finished 9-7 behind the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos. The Bolts were 18th in total offense, 10th in passing, a lowly 30th in rushing and 29th in special teams. The signings of free agent wide receivers Jacoby Jones and Stevie Johnson should go a long way toward bumping up some of those rankings.
Offensive coordinator (OC) Frank Reich and wide receivers coach Fred Graves currently have at least four players to devise schemes around in 2015. Reich is entering his second year as OC while Graves is on his third with the wideouts.
Here is a look at who the receivers are to date:
Malcom Floyd: 6’5″, 225 pounds
This will be Floyd’s 11th year. After a season-ending neck injury in game three of 2013, the 34-year-old veteran receiver came back in 2014. He played all 16 games last year and he recorded 52 catches for 856 yards and six touchdowns.
Keenan Allen: 6’2″, 211 pounds
The 22-year-old was constantly covered after proving himself to be a viable threat in his rookie year. Prior to missing the last two games of 2014 due to a broken collarbone (game 15 vs Denver Broncos), he had 783 yards on 77 receptions with four touchdowns.
Stevie Johnson: 6’2″, 207 pounds
This may be one of the free agent pickups that really has quarterback Philip Rivers smiling. Johnson’s presence gives Rivers another seasoned option at wideout. He played 13 games in San Francisco last year with 35 receptions for 435 yards with three touchdowns. Career numbers for Johnson include 89 games played, 336 catches, 4,267 yards, and 31 touchdowns.
Jacoby Jones: 6’2″, 215 pounds
Jones was most recently a Baltimore Raven. With the special teams unit finishing 29th in the league last year, this signing should prove to be a boon for San Diego. Jones can be a kick returner (165 returns, 4,527 yards, and 5 touchdowns), a punt returner (265 returns for 2,673 yards, four TD’s) and a receiver (203 balls for 2,733 yards with 14 touchdowns).
Dontrelle Inman: 6’3″, 205 pounds
Previously a Canadian Football League player, the 26-year-old Inman made San Diego’s roster last August. He caught the ball 12 times for 158 yards in two games played. He spent the majority of the season on the team’s inactive list.
Austin Pettis: 6’3″, 203 pounds
Pettis has played in 47 games. As a receiver, he has racked up 1,034 receiving yards on 107 catches with five touchdowns during his career with the Rams. Additionally, he has nine kick returns for 75 yards, with 29 punt returns totaling 254 yards.
Although there could be changes among the receiving corps prior to the beginning of the 2015 season, this is how it is shaping up as of now. Perhaps Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco will add another receiver via free agency or the draft. Fans will not have to wait long as free agency is well under way and the draft is right around the corner.
What are your thoughts regarding the wide receiver position moving forward? Please let me know by commenting below.
As reported earlier by Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union Tribune, the Chargers could possibly make a run at wide receiver Randall Cobb. The veteran would be an immediate upgrade over Malcolm Floyd, who at this point in his career is only really a jump ball receiver, and would be a nice complimentary piece to Keenan Allen.
Cobb has been one of the key contributors for the Packers over the last couple seasons and had a stat line of: 91 catches, 1,287 yards and 12 Touchdowns. Nobody on the Chargers eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark, and no other wide receiver topped the 10 TD mark.
So what does this mean? How much cap space will it eat up? Well, they have reportedly $26 million in cap space. Cobb is currently one of the top two receivers on the open market (Jeremy Maclin being the other). It’s likely he will request top dollar. Chargers have more than enough to pull it off if they want to. Is it the best fit? Possibly. He’s a deep threat, which is something the Bolts have been lacking dearly. Notably, he has worked really well on his route running, granting him a go-to target label. Adding Cobb would take the attention off Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates, leaving them on many possible one-on-one matchups.
Where does he fit with a crowded receiving corps? With the signing of Jacoby Jones yesterday, that leaves us with Keenan Allen, Malcolm Floyd, Seyi Ajirotutu, Dontrelle Inman, Austin Pettis and Jacoby Jones on the current roster. Ultimately, Tom Telesco will make room for a player like Cobb. He currently has the cap room to do it.
What do you think? Do the Chargers land Cobb or is he too much money? Let us know in the comments!