Jan 8 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Eddie Royal (19) runs after a catch during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Sports Authority Field. The Broncos defeated the Steelers 23-29 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

The” New Look” 2012 San Diego Chargers Wide Receivers


Jan 7, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Robert Meachem (17) looks back as he scores on a 56 yard touchdown pass against the Detroit Lions in the fourth quarter in the 2011 NFC Wild Card Playoff game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Lions 45-28. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Vincent Jackson is gone; He’s taken his talents to Tampa Bay to play on a sub-par offense with an average QB.  We know Malcolm Floyd and his big play ability is our starting WR, and surely Vincent Brown’s rookie campaign was no joke and he’s ready to break out.  How do you replace a 6’5” monster receiver who is feared by all Db’s in the NFL you ask?  Have no fear Bolt Nation; the Chargers front office was prepared!   AJ Smith crashed into the Free Agency market only hours after the Vincent Jacks on story broke and signed big play wideout Robert Meachem.  Meachem, a first round pick out of Tennessee spent the last four seasons trying to make a name for himself in the Saints extremely crowded WR corps.   As you can see from the graphic below, after his rookie year Meachem has been pretty consistent.  Considering the Saints penchant for using a variety of different weapons to attack and Drew Brees’ talent for spreading the ball around, Meachem has proven himself as a big play threat that can stretch the field with his speed (sub 4.4 second 40 yard dash) and help open up the guys underneath.  His 16 yard per catch average for his career shows exactly how his speed translated to success on the field and the fact the Norv Turner sees him as a #1 WR will give him the opportunity to take his game to the next level.  Expect Meachem to increase his reception total to between 60 and 70 catches and quite possibly be over 1000 yards receiving on the season.  This was a widely praised move within NFL circles, and Meachem, whose contract is worth $25.9 million with $14 million in guaranteed money over four years, could turn out to be a steal.  Thumbs up to AJ for swooping into Buffalo and snatching up Meachem for half the price of VJAX and the potential to have the same kind of numbers and impact on the offense.

Robert Meachem WR

Regular Season Receiving Stats
SEASON TEAM

GP

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FD

FUM

LST

2008

14

12

289

24.1

74

3

8

0

0

2009

16

45

722

16.0

54

9

30

2

1

2010

16

44

638

14.5

55

5

27

0

0

2011

16

40

620

15.5

67

6

29

0

0

Career

62

141

2,269

16.1

74

23

94

2

1

Now, we all know that Meachem alone probably won’t replace VJAX and that’s why AJ plunged back into the FA pool and signed WR and punt returner Eddie Royal.  Ya, the same Eddie Royal who absolutely torched the Chargers for a punt return TD and a kickoff return TD during a 34-23 Loss to Denver on ” Monday Night Football” in 2009. The same Eddie Royal who scored the winning touchdown pass from “Cry Baby” Jay Cutler in the infamous” Ed Hochuli Bowl”.  Having this guy returning punts is an immediate upgrade from Patrick Crayton and gives us a smaller, more versatile player we have been missing since Darren Sproles jumped ship to New Orleans.  Now, Royal’s stats can be a bit deceiving and he dealt with some injuries last year including a concussion that ended his season.  Keep in mind though, Royal hasn’t had a QB worth a damn since Jay Cutler was traded and he was considered mis-used by Josh McDaniels in many coaching circles.  Having Royal fully healthy, Philip Rivers throwing him the ball, and Norv dialing up screens and dump off’s will get him back to being a game changing player.  Royal will see roughly 40-45 receptions and immediately step in as the starting punt returner, give AJ and Philip some serious credit for grabbing Royal out of the clutches of Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins who were wooing Royal out east.  Apparently it took a conversation with Rivers over lunch to actually seal the deal.

Eddie Royal WR

Regular Season Receiving Stats
SEASON TEAM

GP

REC

YDS

AVG

LNG

TD

FD

FUM

LST

2008

15

91

980

10.8

93

5

43

1

1

2009

14

37

345

9.3

20

0

23

0

0

2010

16

59

627

10.6

41

3

32

1

0

2011

12

19

155

8.2

26

1

8

0

0

Career

57

206

2,107

10.2

93

9

106

2

1

 

The bottom line is; AJ has been looking at the Free Agent market since last season because he knew that it was possible we would lose VJAX to a team with unlimited cap space.  Instead of blowing our entire budget trying to bring Jackson back, Smith filled his spot with two players who will together be more productive and more versatile than Jackson could have ever been.  I know its a two for one kind of deal and Jackson is an absolute beast but this group has the potential to be even better than last years group and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Meachem has a Pro Bowl caliber season to make us forget all about the loss of our #1 WR.

 

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Tags: A.J. Smith Denver Broncos Eddie Royal Malcom Floyd Norv Turner Patrick Crayton Philip Rivers Robert Meachem Vincent Brown

  • _RodrigoGuevara

    @chargersbuzztap: Not going to lie, I like the receivers a lot more this year! Floyd, Meachum, Brown, Royal sounds like a nightmare to cover

  • zeus619

    The air attack this year will still be effective maybe better. With a speedy deep threat in Meachem, veteran leadership from M.Floyd, more play from solid wide out V.Brown, and slot and special teams ace E.Royal the chargers have more depth and talent at the wide receiver position than they had last year.

  • Kenny Thorpe

    I see alot of solid WR2 players. Would like to see a good WR1.
    Guess I am one of the few not drinking the AJ Smith kool-aid right now.
    We will see what happens in the draft…

  • goldengirl

    Opening day will be here in no time and I am dusting off my jersey. I did not think I would want to dawn my gold & blue but a true fan never abandons their  team. VJAX will be missed on the field. He was and still is a beast. He was also a beast in our fine city and perhaps that part won’t be missed, at least not by me. Mr. Gilbert, I await to see your predictions come true! I’ve had not much to hole on to. What a sight it will be to see RIVERS & FLOYD connect with MEACHEM and give us something to cheer about while we drown our tears over the loss of VJAX. I’m just a fan. No expert on any sort of the game. I am girl who loves her team and want to see glory back in the BOLTS GAME!