If the Los Angeles Chargers failed to improve any one position after losing a player this offseason, it might be wide receiver. Or so, that’s what we all might believe.
Tyrell Williams took the money and ran to Oakland with it and the Chargers didn’t sign a receiver through free agency or take one in the draft. Is that because Tom Telesco just couldn’t get the guy he wanted or is it because he was happy with what was already in place?
Most assume that the veteran Travis Benjamin will assume the role once held by Williams but there are other wide receivers on the roster who should figure into the mix. One of those guys is second-year pro, Dylan Cantrell.
It was thought that the Chargers may have gotten a late-round steal in Cantrell last season and he started out training camp looking like he might make those thoughts come to fruition. But because he ended up missing most of camp with an injury, the team was forced to release him and sign him to the practice squad.
He was promoted to the active roster late in the season but never caught a pass during his rookie year. He should come back hungry this summer ready to make amends for a lost year.
At 6-foot-3 and 226 pounds, Cantrell has the size to be the kind of slot target that the team just hasn’t had. With a quarterback like Philip Rivers who loves to take what the defense gives him, Cantrell could become one of his favorite targets.
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That’s not to say that Cantrell is the next Wes Welker, but he did go to the same school. He caught 158 passes during his career at Texas Tech, including 71 during his senior season. He also scored 18 career touchdowns.
Benjamin is a speedster, but he’s wildly inconsistent and not the type of game-changer he once was with the Cleveland Browns. He’ll be the favorite to be the team’s No. 3 receiver, but that’s only because of experience.
A healthy Cantrell is the type of player fans and teams around the league should not sleep on and it’s entirely possible that he could end up snagging that No. 3 job before the regular season kicks off.