Oct 15, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Richard Goodman (15) runs a kick-off return during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Now I’ve given you my first impressions with the Top 5 in camp, but that was easy. Now it get’s a little murky, with one exception.
#6 Richard Goodman (Goody): entering his 3rd season, with 1 Rec, 25Yds. Goody has made his mark in the Kick Return. Before his injury in 2012 he was averaging 27.6 yards per return. To give you some comparison, that’s a better average than Josh Cribbs and Devin Hester, two of the top 10 kick returner in the league. Only Leon Washington (RB, SEA), and Jacoby Jones (WR, BAL), was better. Unlike Hester and Cribbs, Goodman has better hands. much better. If I had my say, Goody makes the roster, if only to take the KR duties away from Royal. However, should Allen become the KR, then Goody may be gone. He is not eligible for the practice squad.
#7 Mike Willie: Entering his 2nd season, Mike is best remembered for his 38 yard TD from CBJ, on Aug 18, 2012 pre-season game against the cowboys. In camp Willie has shown the ability to get open, and even laid out for a catch, in day one of camp. I like his ability to run routes but he’s let a few catchable balls hit the turf. but overall he’s looked good no matter what route he was asked to run. I expect Willie to make the Practice Squad. His skills will be an asset when the Chargers have to look to their depth.
#8 Robert Meachem: entering his 7th year with 155 REC, 2,476 YDS, an 25TD. Surprisingly Meachem has looked better under Whisenhunt’s offense than Norv’s. he made catches, and his routes look good, but that’s all I can say. Meachem came from a “system” in New Orleans and did his part. Which is why, after what I saw from him, I can’t put him any lower. Also he’s the exception. If he doesn’t raise some eyebrows, he’ll make the roster for no other reason than his guaranteed money.
This is where it gets murky….
#9 Dan DePalma (welker 2.0): entering his 2nd season, has been a busy “camp body”. From what I saw he’s got skills with his feet. His cuts are right on cue and he knows where he should be. This is what stood out and impressed me the most. The down side, dropped balls. That will get you cut, no matter how much potential you have. As of right now, I’d say DePalma is the front-runner to making the Practice Squad behind Willie. But that may change.
#10 Luke Tasker: entering his rookie season, with 171 REC, 2,482 YDS, 13 TD, 13Rush, 66YDS, 3TDS 253 YDS in Punt Returns, an 240 YDS in Kickoff Returns.
What all that means to me? ” I can do anything with ball in my hands”. And he showed he was the most impressive in all these fields. During punt fielding drills Tasker was on point. His versatility was on display as I caught him working with the Special Teams, he can hit the gap. The issue was he looked nervous out there in a new system and again, dropped balls. As a WR that is critical. However he is in competition for the Special Teams and the Practice Squad.
#11 Deon Butler (Neon Deon): entering his 5th year with, 57 REC, 611 YDS. an 4TD. of all these guys Deon has been the most invisible to me. Except once. Deon ran a stop n’ go, made a move, got separation, and took off towards the Endzone. Sorenson ( I believe) made a beautiful pass, right on the money. Only to watch it drop to the turf. right. between. his. hands. There are very few opportunities to impress, for a guy that’s ineligible for the Practice Squad, to leave “that” as a stand out play on day one of camp. The young man has good potential, at this stage in his career, we should see more.
All in all, here is what bothers me the most. One of these players will get bumped, because Meachem will make the roster on account of his guaranteed money. At this point who cares, we know the truth. Now the last three based on what I saw, are pretty even, and any one of them could make the cut. Since most Teams carry 5 or 6 WR that means the top 5 I mentioned are in + Meachem makes 6. That would mean Willie, DePlama, and Tasker are left to duke it out for Practice Squad. Goodman an Butler must make the roster, or they will be cut. To me the bottom six is the most important decisions, the Chargers will have to make. These players will be the depth they turn to when a starter goes down. Because it’s not a matter of “IF” but “WHEN” injuries occur.
But hey that’s my opinion, from the outside lookin’ in.