One of the bright spots in a disappointing season for the San Diego Chargers was wide receiver Danario Alexander. Signed off the street in October, Alexander immediately made an impact and developed a rapport with quarterback Philip Rivers. In 10 games, Alexander caught 37 passes for 658 yards and seven touchdowns. By season’s end, he was unquestionably Rivers’ favorite target.
Alexander became what fellow wide receiver Robert Meachem was supposed to be. He was a reliable receiver for Rivers and helped offset the lost production of long-time playmaker Vincent Jackson, who left prior to the season in free agency. All the more impressive, Alexander did it without having the luxury of working with Rivers in the off-season.
With Alexander set to become a restricted free agent this off-season, the Chargers will likely tender the talented receiver. However, what can we expect from Alexander heading into his first full season with the team? Alexander had a good 10-game stretch, but is that enough to anoint him San Diego’s top receiver?
Prior to joining the Chargers, Alexander had five surgeries on his left knee. It’s unknown if he can stay healthy for an entire season. San Diego must have a backup plan in case he isn’t as effective in 2013. Malcom Floyd and Vincent Brown will also be in the mix, but the Chargers should still look to add another receiver.
The good news is that since Alexander will be a restricted free agent, the Chargers can put off paying him a huge sum of money until they know he can produce year in and year out.
Imagine what a year Alexander could have if he gets the whole off-season to work with Rivers. At just 24 years old, he should only get better as long as he can stay healthy. He demonstrated his physical abilities and his chemistry with Rivers in 2012. The fact that Rivers loves throwing downfield to tall receivers who can win in jump ball situations fits nicely with what Alexander can do.
Alexander is no Vincent Jackson right now, but could be on his way to becoming that for the Chargers.
His journey from injury-plagued outcast to a pivotal part of the Chargers offense has been amazing and hopefully he continues to excel.