Bolt Beat Weekly Poll: Should Chargers draft a WR at No. 7 overall?
By Matt Pagels
Bolt Beat will do weekly polls on Twitter. This week we focused on whether or not the Chargers should target a receiver with the seventh overall pick.
Do the Los Angeles Chargers need help at wide receiver? Should they gamble on one with the No. 7 overall pick?
The Chargers have talent at that position, as Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams, Travis Benjamin and Dontrelle Inman round out the group. On paper, it doesn’t appear that receiver is a need. Unfortunately, Allen, their No. 1 wideout, has been unable to stay healthy in his young career. Benjamin, a 2016 free-agent acquisition, was also banged up and underwhelmed in his first year as a Charger. Williams and Inman stepped up in Allen’s and Benjamin’s absence, but quarterback Philip Rivers could use another weapon should the receivers get bit by the injury bug again.
That led us to this poll. The 2017 NFL Draft is loaded with receivers, with Clemson’s Mike Williams, and Western Michigan’s Corey Davis leading the pack. Washington’s John Ross may have joined Williams and Davis to form a “Big Three” after breaking Chris Johnson’s 40-yard dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine.
RELATED: Meet WRs Mike Williams and Corey Davis
The three receivers mentioned above are the only wideouts going in the first round in mock drafts I’ve seen. Williams’ strength is his ability to win contested jump balls. He’s a big target with a great catch radius who proved to be a reliable target in crunch time (see National Championship game vs. Alabama). Williams could be the player that Rivers has needed ever since the departure of Vincent Jackson. Davis may be a small-school prospect, but the FBS all-time receiving leader is one of the best route-runners in this class. He’s also very dangerous after the catch. Meanwhile, Ross is a home-run threat waiting to happen.
Here's one of the segments from today's PFT
– Corey Davis vs John Ross vs Mike Williams– O.J. Howard and David Njoku– Best fits for Ross pic.twitter.com/FxKdj4x97L
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) April 7, 2017
With that said, are any of those three worth a top-10 selection? There are flaws to each of their games. Is Williams fast enough? Does he rely too heavily on his strength and ability to box out defenders? Are current or past injuries to Davis and Ross concerning? Would they fit in a scheme that already has players with similar skill sets (Allen and his route-running and Benjamin with his speed)?
If I’m picking a wide receiver in the top 10, it’d better be a player with Julio Jones-like potential. Speaking of Jones, he is just one of eight receivers picked in the top 10 since 2010: Amari Cooper (No. 4 overall) and Kevin White (No. 7 overall) from the 2015 class, Sammy Watkins (No. 4 overall) and Mike Evans (No. 7 overall) from the 2014 class, Tavon Austin (No. 8 overall) from 2013 class, Justin Blackmon (No. 5 overall) from the 2012 class and A.J. Green (No. 4 overall) and Jones (No. 6 overall) from the 2011 class; no receivers were taken in the top 10 in 2016 or 2010. Only four players from the list above (Cooper, Evans, Green and Jones) have had big-time success thus far.
We asked the fans if they would like to see a receiver (and which one) with the Chargers’ first pick. Here were the results:
Weekly Poll! Should Chargers draft a WR at No. 7 overall (and if so, who)?
— Bolt Beat (@BB_Chargers) April 5, 2017
As you can see, many voted against drafting a receiver with the first pick, and I agree (despite my liking of Williams and Davis). Trading back to get Williams, Davis or Ross would make sense, but if they can’t pull off a trade, drafting one of the top defensive linemen or a playmaking safety would be wise.
Overall, is Williams, Davis or Ross worth the No. 7 overall selection? Unless GM Tom Telesco and the Chargers see one of them as a true No. 1 wideout, I’d suggest waiting on a receiver in the later rounds. Players like Curtis Samuel, Cooper Kupp, Zay Jones, Isaiah Ford, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Carlos Henderson, Chris Godwin, Malachi Dupre, Dede Westbrook, Chad Williams, K.D. Cannon and more will be available on Day 2 or later.
Like I said, it’s a very deep group of receivers, so waiting for a receiver wouldn’t be such a bad idea.