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.
When looking at the current state of the Charger roster, it is easy to see that the team is not lacking in options at the Wide Receiver position. The Bolts are currently equipped with 11 players to snag balls from Philip Rivers and the other Quarterbacks in camp. This turns out to be the deepest group on the entire ball club.
It is common knowledge that all 11 players will not remain on the team by the time the season rolls around. Let’s start by taking a look at them.
Danario Alexander – A lock for the roster. He will be the team’s number one Wide Receiver. Lots of excitement surrounding what he can do with a full offseason with Rivers. Not to mention a full slate of 16 games. Needs to stay healthy.
Malcom Floyd – Despite the thoughts of some “experts,” he isn’t going anywhere this season. He is splitting some starting reps. Floyd has only played 16 games once in his 10 year career.
Vincent Brown – He is the one sharing starting reps with Floyd. A healthy Brown is a huge addition to the Charger wide receiving corps. His route running and ability to attack the ball make him a serious weapon for the new Charger offense.
Keenan Allen – The third round pick out of Cal is expected to be a Charger for a long time. He’ll contribute, even as a rookie.
Robert Meachem – We all know why he’s here and will definitely be a Charger in 2013. Let’s hope he can make a few plays. Being that I was at the game in Cleveland last year, even typing his name makes me sick to my stomach.
Eddie Royal – This is the part where skepticism starts to wander into the equation. He could be cut due to numbers at the position. He has been starting in the slot. Royal is capable in both kick and punt return duties. Those traits could save his job.
Richard Goodman – He’s a solid Kick Returner and but return punts. His play as a Gunner on special teams might keep him hanging around. But the fact that he has been unable to play at Wide Receiver will not help his status on the team.
Mike Willie – He still has some practice squad eligibility. There is a chance he sticks for that reason. He has the build of a Rivers’ kind of target.
Deon Butler – The former Seahawk can fly. But it might be safe to assume that he is a training camp body. Probably will be cut at some point.
Dan DePalma – He is an interesting guy. When with the New York Giants, the team used him to simulate Wes Welker in their preparation for the Super bowl against the New England Patriots. The question is whether or not he has any practice squad eligibilty left. He was picked up as an undrafted free agent in 2011 by the New York Jets. I don’t think he was ever on either team’s 53 man roster. That would mean he would have a third year of eligibility on a practice squad. ( I am waiting to hear back from Kevin Acee regarding his eligibility for practice squad.) Having Wes Welker in the division would make DePalma a nice piece to keep on the PS seeing as how he has studied Welker extensively.
Luke Tasker – He is the son of one of my favorite non-Chargers of all time, Steve Tasker. If he is even half of the special teamer that his father was then I expect him to stick on the PS. Not sure how much work he’ll have at wide out, if any at all.
The Wide receiver group will be an interesting one to keep an eye on. The four major contributors seem set in Alexander, Floyd, Brown and Allen. Additionally, as mentioned above, the team will see what they can get out of Meachem. But after that it’s all up for grabs. The team has less than a half-a-million in salary cap space. It is safe to say this group will be evaluated closely to see where some savings could be had.
How many weapons at the Wide Receiver spot should the team keep? Who do you think will get the almighty axe and be cut prior to the season?
Let us know in the comment section below.
Thanks a lot for reading.