LA Chargers News

Chargers prospects: Wide receivers to watch for

FORT WORTH, TX - SEPTEMBER 29: Jalen Reagor #1 of the TCU Horned Frogs carries the ball against Willie Harvey #2 of the Iowa State Cyclones and Greg Eisworth #12 of the Iowa State Cyclones in the first half at Amon G. Carter Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
FORT WORTH, TX - SEPTEMBER 29: Jalen Reagor #1 of the TCU Horned Frogs carries the ball against Willie Harvey #2 of the Iowa State Cyclones and Greg Eisworth #12 of the Iowa State Cyclones in the first half at Amon G. Carter Stadium on September 29, 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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TEMPE, ARIZONA – AUGUST 29: Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk #2 of the Arizona State Sun Devils runs with the football en route to scoring on a 77 yard touchdown reception against the Kent State Golden Flashes during the second half of the NCAAF game at Sun Devil Stadium on August 29, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
TEMPE, ARIZONA – AUGUST 29: Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk #2 of the Arizona State Sun Devils runs with the football en route to scoring on a 77 yard touchdown reception against the Kent State Golden Flashes during the second half of the NCAAF game at Sun Devil Stadium on August 29, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

There are many receivers available in rounds 2-3, but which ones best fit the Chargers, and which ones will have the best NFL career?

There are so many receivers to pick from here on day two. It’s the deepest class in years, maybe in NFL history, so it’s this writer’s job to go through and look for which ones will be the best fit, and which ones look like they could be steals. I have three answers here, including one who would be a reach for many, but could be an absolute steal.

Brandon Aiyuk

No, it’s not crazy. Very few analysts and scouts are able to recognize that Aiyuk, out of Arizona State, might have the most NFL potential. It’s often you find at least one or two guys per position group that will perform better in the pros than they do in college. Aiyuk is absolutely one of those guys. Aiyuk is 6-1, 195 pounds, but plays much bigger than he is.

Aiyuk has great speed, being a threat to take it all the way on any given play. He is a demon after the catch and is a personal favorite route runner in this class. It sounds like a dumb comparison, but the comparison that comes to mind so often when watching his tape is a faster Keenan Allen. His route running is so clean at some points that he looks like a seasoned pro.

Many focus on the speed when they watch Aiyuk, but the selling point for him has to be that route running. He has a sneaky amount of strength in his running that can really add to the separation he already gets from his routes, and once he catches the ball that strength plays a large factor in what he does with the ball in his hands.

Overall, if the Chargers really want a receiver in this draft, Aiyuk has to be the guy. He has “Charger” practically written on his tape, and would be such a good addition to the receiving corps in Los Angeles.

DeVonta Smith

You hear a lot about Jeudy and Ruggs but this is the guy you should be pounding the table for if you want any of the trio from Alabama. He won’t take the draft capital that Jeudy demands, and he is a better pro receiver than Ruggs.

Smith is the most consistent receiver on tape for that Alabama team, and if you give the Chargers a 3rd-and-10 situation, and had to pick any of those three Alabama receivers, you will want Smith. He may not be better than Jeudy after the catch, or faster than Ruggs, but Smith has some quality route running and can make any catch you throw at him.

A lot of the analysts you listen to will try to talk you into Jeudy or Ruggs being the receiver you want, but trust the tape. It’s Smith that you want. It’s a similar situation to last year when Terry McLaurin was the Smith, and Parris Campbell was the Ruggs. You want the guy who gets the most consistent separation, it is the most valuable trait for a wide receiver, and something that both Aiyuk and Smith share. Separation is key, and we will see Smith rise up draft boards more and more as scouts realize that.

K.J. Hill

Hill is a speedy receiver out of Ohio State that has shown the necessary playmaking ability to succeed at the next level. Buried behind McLaurin and Campbell on the depth chart last year, he still showed that he needed the ball in his hands, accumulating 885 yards and six touchdowns on 70 receptions.

Being in a position to learn from McLaurin, who really uses his route running to separate from defensive backs, and then Campbell, who uses his speed and playmaking ability, no doubt helped Hill to become the receiver he is now.

Hill has the potential to be a bigger speedster at 6-0, 200 pounds and shows the traits that you want to see from a receiver. Overall, you need to see more from him than he has shown in this 2019 season, but there is still a lot to like when you turn on the tape.

While Hill is a good speedy receiver, there are some guys you’d feel comfortable taking a round or two later that bring the same energy to an offense, if not more. We’ll get to those guys next when we discuss some potential day three options.

The first one we’ll talk about hasn’t gotten much opportunity to shine due to injuries and quarterback play but has all the talent necessary to be a true number one option on a team.

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