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Chargers: Grading the wide receiver group through four games

CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Wide receiver Keenan Allen #13 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs past cornerback Johnathan Joseph #24 of the Houston Texans and runs for a touchdown in the second quarter at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 22, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Wide receiver Keenan Allen #13 of the Los Angeles Chargers runs past cornerback Johnathan Joseph #24 of the Houston Texans and runs for a touchdown in the second quarter at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 22, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
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CARSON, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 22: Keenan Allen #13 of the Los Angeles Chargers catches a pass in the first quarter against the Houston Texans at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 22, 2019, in Carson, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
CARSON, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 22: Keenan Allen #13 of the Los Angeles Chargers catches a pass in the first quarter against the Houston Texans at Dignity Health Sports Park on September 22, 2019, in Carson, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Chargers’ wideouts have been among the most interesting position groups on the team. How have they all fared at their respective roles so far?

The receiver group for the Chargers remained somewhat similar while making some tweaks. Losing Tyrell Williams in the offseason was something that had to be adjusted for in 2019. From the established star receiver Keenan Allen to even someone undrafted like Andre Patton, everyone has had to have their own impact somewhere. With a decent enough sample size, let’s check in on how all the receivers are doing and give them grades.

Keenan Allen

Through the first four games, there hasn’t been a receiver better than Allen. There are guys that come close, but he has put up outrageous numbers while also running crisp, beautiful routes. Allen is on pace to absolutely blow by all of his season records, including touchdowns, yards and receptions. He’s been incredibly dependable in a time where it feels like the entire Chargers offense has been in flux due to injuries. Even in games like the one vs. Miami where he’s not posting massive numbers, he’s opening the field for the whole offense to flow.

Other than quarterback Philip Rivers, there’s no player more individually important to the Chargers’ playoff hopes than Allen. Other than simply his performance on the field, his leadership as one of the veterans who has been with the organization the longest other than Rivers and Melvin Ingram is vital to the team. Best receiver in the league may be a debate, but best receiver in 2019 currently isn’t. It’s Allen, by a mile.

Grade: A+

Travis Benjamin

Travis Benjamin has been a major disappointment this season, and that may be putting it nicely. In the three games he’s played, he’s played on average 57 percent of the team’s offensive snaps.

Through 10 targets on the season, Benjamin has put up 17 receiving yards on four catches. He can’t seem to create the needed separation off the line or in any routes to be a viable deep threat. His drop was one of the reasons the Chargers dropped a very winnable game vs. Houston in Week 3.

There’s simply too many drops and dumb plays at this point for him to be playing 57 percent of snaps a game. There are other guys who deserve a chance to take his role, who we’ll get into later. But other than a few deep shot plays here and there, Benjamin shouldn’t see the field really at any point.  There was some hope he could perform as he did toward the end of the regular season last year, but it’s all mostly for naught right now.

Grade: D

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