The San Diego Chargers have many needs and addressed a few of them during the first week of NFL Free Agency. The missing piece is adding a versatile receiver playing opposite to Keenan Allen, and drafting one should be a priority.
Odell Beckham, LSU wide receiver, played his best collegiate football in 2013 as a junior. His 2013 stat line read 59 receptions, 1,152 yards and eight touchdowns. The increase from his mediocre 2012 season can be attributed to the arrival of offensive coordinator, and former Charger OC Cam Cameron. There are obviously no ties to the current regime, but Cameron’s playbook elevated LSU’s offense and the profiles of Beckham, Zach Mettenberger and Jarvis Landry.
Most of Beckham’s combine returns aren’t overly impressive like his 4.43 40-yard dash. But the 20-yard and the 60-yard shuttles were impressive at 3.94 and 10.93, respectively. The returns reflect scouting reports that Beckham doesn’t have breakaway speed on vertical routes. Instead, Beckham’s specialty is to make plays after the catch and in open space.
His special teams return experience could be a deal maker for the Chargers. He returned 16 punts for 160 yards in 2013, but his 2012 stats were amazing taking back 35 punts for 320 yards and two touchdowns. In 2013, Beckham took back 32 kickoffs for 845 yards with a long of 82. Currently putting the Chargers’ No. 1 receiver on special teams isn’t much of a great idea, nor is expecting vintage Eddie Royal back on punts.
The downfall to drafting Beckham is the lack of a vertical threat and his height. Right now, the Chargers’ top vertical threat is Malcom Floyd. With so many needs, one has to believe the Chargers hope Floyd comes back after the nasty neck injury in 2013. It would be nice to see a downfield receiver for Philip Rivers, but it might not be necessary for the Mike McCoy-style offense.