Sep 08, 2012; Evanston, IL, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores wide receiver Jordan Matthews (87) catches a touchdown pass against Northwestern Wildcats cornerback Demetrius Dugar (22) during the first quarter at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
The Chargers should look to add another weapon for Philip Rivers in the NFL Draft, which is now less than two weeks away. There are plenty of options at wide receiver that would be a good fit for the Bolts. Feel free to comment on this, adding other WR’s I fail to mention that are worth noting. I don’t see them drafting Odell Beckham, I think he will be gone before the Chargers are willing to take him. So I have rounded up a few possible candidates towards the top, middle and tail end of the draft that could be the next to don the lightning bolt.
Sep 28, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Marqise Lee (9) during the game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
1. Marqise Lee, USC
Lee will mostly likely be available to draft only if the Chargers are willing to take him in the 1st round and put off their defensive needs until later. But he may be worth it. At 6’0″ 192 pounds, he isn’t the biggest receiver in the draft, but he has been productive. In 2012, he was a Consensus All-American when he had 118 receptions for 1,721 yards and 14 TD’s. Who can forget when he torched Arizona for 345 yards? He did suffer some injuries in 2013, which made his numbers suffer also. If he can avoid future injuries, he can be one of the best receivers to come out of this draft.
Oct 19, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Vanderbilt Commodores wide receiver Jordan Matthews (87) carries the ball against Georgia Bulldogs cornerback Damian Swann (5) during the first half at Vanderbilt Stadium. The Commodores beat the Bulldogs 31-27. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
2. Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
The 6’3″ 212 pound receiver out of Vandy would be a great addition. Matthews was a big reason for Vanderbilt’s recent surge. He is projected to be a 2nd-3rd round pick. He has got size and speed (4.46 40 yard dash). He lined up against SEC corners his entire career. Matthews led the SEC in receiving yards last year with 1,477 and also in receptions with 112. His 3,759 career receiving yards are the most in SEC history, dating back to 1956. He is battle tested, playing well against the likes of Tennessee, Georgia, Ole Miss, Mizzou, Auburn and South Carolina among others.
Sep 7, 2013; Boulder, CO, USA; Colorado Buffaloes wide receiver Paul Richardson (6) reacts after a long reception for a touchdown in the first quarter against the Central Arkansas Bears at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
3. Paul Richardson, Colorado
He has a slighter frame than Matthews (6’1″ 170 lbs), but Paul Richardson makes up for it with a 4.40 40 time. He finished 2nd in the PAC-12 with 1,343 receiving yards and 83 receptions. A good sign is that he bounced back from a 2012 ACL tear with a career year in 2013. He is slim, and will have to avoid further injuries. It’s worth noting he had 134 receiving yards against Oregon and 88 against USC, both with formidable defenses. This would be a good pick for the Bolts in the 2nd or 3rd round.
Nov 23, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Indiana Hoosiers wide receiver Cody Latimer (3) catches the ball as Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Bradley Roby (1) tries to tackle him in the first quarter of the game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowksi-USA TODAY Sports
4. Cody Latimer, Indiana
Latimer is thick, like Matthews at 6’3″ 215 pounds. He is a great route runner. He had 72 receptions for 1,096 yards with 9 TD’s in 2013. I am a believer in being battle tested in college, to see how they stack up against fellow NFL prospects. Latimer had his best games of last year against Mizzou, Penn State and Michigan. He also had a 189 yard, 3 TD performance against Illinois. The BIG 10 has some stout defenses, and Latimer handled them well. His offseason workouts have shot up his stock, he may be taken higher than originally expected.
Sep 21, 2013; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Jarvis Landry (80) carries the ball in front of Auburn Tigers defensive back Joshua Holsey (15) on his way to scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Auburn 35-21. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports
5. Jarvis Landry, LSU
Landry has OK size (6’1″ 195 lbs) but most importantly, he is a playmaker. He had a breakout season in 2013 and decided to leave school early to go pro. He had 77 receptions for 1,193 yards and 10 TD’s for the Tigers. Like Matthews, Landry lined up against SEC defenses week in and week out. He was 2nd team All-SEC and was named team captain. His workouts this offseason may have been underwhelming but I think he would be a good catch in the middle rounds.
Dec 20, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Cody Hoffman (2) runs after making a catch during the fourth quarter while defended by San Diego State Aztecs defensive back King Holder (bottom) at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Under The Radar: Cody Hoffman, BYU
Now hear me out on this one. He has great size (6’4″ 210 lbs), actually he is the biggest of the receivers I have here. If the Chargers find themselves in the 6th or 7th round and are not feeling satisfied with the receiver position, they should consider Hoffman. He is BYU’s all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and all-purpose yards. That is very significant considering BYU played musical quarterbacks most of his career. He has a huge catch radius. He is also battle-tested, performing well against teams like Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Washington and Boise State. He would be a safe 7th round pick.