2014 NFL Draft: Wide Receiver Should Be San Diego Chargers’ Top Priority
The San Diego Chargers‘ offense has taken some huge hits early in the NFL offseason. We learned that Malcom Floyd might never play football again after suffering a bad neck injury in Week 2 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Now we know budding star receiver Danario Alexander underwent a second surgery on his knee which puts his chances of returning to the Bolts in serious jeopardy.
The Chargers did fine without both players last year, but that was mostly due to the emergence of rookie Keenan Allen, who will be their No. 1 receiver going into the 2014 season. Still, I would not like their chances if they don’t address their lack of receivers in the offseason. The Chargers’ salary cap situation puts them in bad position to make any notable moves in free agency, so you figure the NFL Draft gives them an opportunity to put a band-aid on the cut left by the injuries to Alexander and Floyd.
What the Chargers will miss the most in the absence of their two top receivers from the 2012 season is their height and ability to make plays. Allen is the only receiver that is 6-foot-2 or more who gets serious playing time on Sundays. Their No. 2 and 3 options will be Vincent Brown and Eddie Royal who both stand below 6-feet tall.
The Chargers will have the No. 25 overall selection in the first round of May’s draft. That puts them in position to seize a receiver, but I doubt their focus will be on that since they have issues requiring more attention like their need for a solid cornerback. Still, I think the Bolts should actually think about taking a receiver in the first-round so their offensive production does not slip. They will most likely be thinking defense first, but I believe they can find steals later on that solve some of their defensive issues rather than missing out on landing a another playmaker on offense.
Two names that stand out as possible replacements for Floyd and Alexander are Kelvin Benjamin from Florida State and Allen Robinson of Penn State. Benjamin is a 6-foot-5, 234-pound player who hauled in 54 receptions for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns for the National Champions. The Chargers could solve some of their red zone issues with a big target for Philip Rivers to hit.
Robinson is a bit smaller, standing at 6-foot-3, but he arguably had a more impressive year than Benjamin. Robinson finished the year with 97 receptions, 1,442 yards and six touchdowns. He has quickness and route running ability that stand out among other prospects, and that makes him a great fit in San Diego. Both players are projected to be late first-to-early-second-round selections, so the Chargers have realistic shot to get one of these guys. If they choose otherwise it could be a huge mistake for the Bolts.