Chargers looking deep into wide receiver draft class


Jan 1, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Michael Thomas (3) drops a pass as Notre Dame Fighting Irish cornerback Nick Watkins (21) defends during the second half in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

With veteran Malcom Floyd hanging up the cleats, the San Diego Chargers started this offseason with a clear deficit at the wide receiver position. They quickly addressed the issue by signing Travis Benjamin, an electric playmaker out of Cleveland, early in free agency. However, behind Keenan Allen, Stevie Johnson, and Travis Benjamin the Bolts don’t have much to speak of for depth.

Dontrelle Inman is a fine depth player, but doesn’t have the game-breaking ability you would want in a starting wideout. Undrafted rookie Tyrell Williams showed glimpses of promise as an outside height/speed guy who can take the top off of a defense but is still very raw. Neither player would have you excited should they be forced into a starting role.

It’s clear that the team is interested in bringing in a young talent through the draft (or undrafted) process to help bolster the depth. Early in the tour of pro days they have already met with a couple well-known prospects who could merit an early-round selection. By no means is this position a top need for the team, but the value on their board might lead them to taking on at any point in the draft. Here is a look at a handful prospects the team has already met with and interviewed.

Michael Thomas – 6’3″, 212 lbs : Ohio State University

Projected round : 2

Worked out and interviewed for Chargers during his pro day.

“Some teams walked away from the Buckeyes’ pro day with a 40 time for Michael Thomas in the low 4.3s. Like the Combine, most teams use the 40 time that’s on their scouts’ stopwatch as opposed to any “official” time that makes its way through the media. After the workout, Thomas met extensively with the San Diego Chargers.” – Tony Pauline

“Thomas has an impressive combination of size and speed. He could be the most well-rounded prospect at his position. Thomas can make plays in all levels of the defense. His numbers were suppressed by Ohio State’s offense and quarterback situation, but he has mismatch speed and size. Thomas looks like a good fit as an X receiver to challenge defenses vertically along the sideline.”

Walter Cherepinsky

Tyler Boyd – 6’1″, 197 lbs : Pittsburgh

Projected round : 2

Worked out and interviewed for Chargers during his pro day.

“A graceful athlete, he trusts his hands and uses quick eyes to snatch and immediately analyze his surroundings, but his body size does lead to durability concerns, especially over the middle. Despite average measureables, Boyd is an exquisite catcher of the football and able to stand out by paying attention to the details, putting his value in the top 50 range. His ideal NFL fit is in the slot in a Jarvis Landry-type role.”

–Dane Brugler CBS sports

Chris Moore – 6-1″, 206 lbs : Cincinnati

Projected round : 5-6

Worked out and interviewed for Chargers during his pro day.

“Moore looks like a good, explosive wide receiver for the pros who was highly productive and consistent in college. If he can prove to be more than a one trick pony (deep threat) in the NFL, then someone could find a very good prospect, likely in the middle rounds.”

–Jamie Newberg CBS sports

Devon Cajuste – 6’4″, 235 lbs : Stanford

Met with Chargers at East/West Shrine game.

Projected round : 7- FA

**Note** May be more suited as a tight end or H-back in the NFL.

"“If this evaluation were purely as a receiving prospect, the draft grade would be lower; however, Cajuste might carry a higher grade as an H­-back or tight end which are the two positions where he should project. Cajuste is a willing blocker who also carries some third down and goal line value as a pass catcher which is why we are projecting him as an H-­back or move tight end.” -Lance Zierlein NFL Network"

Other prospects to date include:

Robby Anderson – 6’3″, 190 lbs : Temple

Hunter Sharp – 5’11”, 198 lbs : Utah State