The Los Angeles Chargers currently have 11 wide receivers on their 90-man roster. One of those is a diminutive prospect from West Georgia named J.J. Jones.
Jones, who will wear jersey No. 89 this summer, is the smallest receiver on the roster at 5-10 and 173 pounds. But he also might be the fastest.
He posted a 4.35 second 40-yard dash at his pro day and showed off his athleticism with a 38-inch vertical leap. Can he find a way to make the roster this year?
Those odds will be long, but that won’t be anything new for Jones who played in Division II for the University of West Georgia Wolves. But small school players have found their way onto this roster before and Jones will have his shot.
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For him to make the roster, he’ll likely have to prove he’s a viable option out of the slot. Helping out in the return game would certainly help his cause as well. In fact, becoming a good return man would likely be his best path to the NFL.
Jones caught just 24 passes for 278 yards for the Wolves last season, but he was one of the better kick returners in all of Division II and should get a look at that spot in camp.
He will need to show the ability to run solid routes if he wants any chance at getting offensive playing time. Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ offense usually favors the bigger receivers, but the 5-10 Eddie Royal had a couple good seasons with the team, so there is a precedent.
I believe there is definitely an opportunity at the wide receiver position for this team and that’s something you’ll likely hear me saying numerous times this summer.
I think Jones will be able to make a bit of a splash as a return man, but I can’t see the Chargers keeping him on their 53-man roster based on return ability alone.
With 11 receivers on the roster, I see a minimum of six guys ahead of Jones on the depth chart. He’ll have an outside chance at finding a spot on the practice squad, but I see that as his best bet.