Wide receiver may be the deepest position on the roster of the Los Angeles Chargers. That didn’t stop the team from signing four receivers as undrafted free agents.
I’ve already talked about former Clemson product Artavis Scott in this series, and today the focus will be put on former Rutgers receiver Andre Patton. The team did sign former Ohio State receiver Dontre Wilson, but a history of injury to his foot forced the Chargers to go back on that deal.
Patton is a guy that will face long odds to make the team this year because of the names in front of him, but a solid performance this summer could land him on the team’s practice squad.
Patton does seem to possess some athletic ability, as evidenced by the 4.40 40-yard dash he ran at his pro day, according to Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. He also showed well in the vertical jump and broad jump drills.
Patton played in at least one game in each of his four seasons at Rutgers, appearing in 30 career games. He caught 90 passes with 10 of those going for scores. He finished his college career by averaging 12.9 yards per reception.
In Los Angeles, he’ll be buried on the depth chart.
The team already has Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams and first-round pick Mike Williams. Dontrelle Inman is recovering from core surgery, but he’ll still have a good chance to make the team.
Beyond those five names, the roster still includes Geremy Davis, Da’Ron Brown, Javontee Herndon, Jamaal Jones and fellow undrafted rookies Scott and Mitchell Paige. That makes a total of 12 receivers on the roster, so to say that Patton will have a tough time getting noticed is an understatement.
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But that’s what he has to do, he has to get noticed. Whether it be by making a spectacular catch in camp or just by being consistent when given the opportunity in preseason games, he has to catch someone’s eye.
The team will likely keep only five or six of these guys on the main roster and then place one or two more on the practice squad. Several more will be sent packing.
At 6’4″, Patton is a guy who can learn to become a big target in the passing game. That said, he never really stood out at the college level and I see no reason why he will in the pros, especially with such a deep pool of talent around him.
If someone outside of the main five receivers (Allen, Williams, Benjamin, Inman, Williams) makes a splash this summer, I expect it to be a guy like Scott or Jones.
Patton will be released at some point during the preseason.