Keenan Allen and Mike Williams had terrific 2019 seasons, breaking their own records in multiple categories. But for the Los Angeles Chargers receiving group to take it to the next level, they need help.
Keenan Allen is one of the best receivers in the league, especially when it comes to route running and possession catches. In 2019, Mike Williams truly elevated himself to being one of the league’s better deep threats, having the highest yards per catch in the league. However, one of the things the offense also showed is that they can’t do it alone.
Dontrelle Inman and Travis Benjamin, unfortunately, got hurt and wound up on injured reserve fairly early in the year. However, not everything can really be blamed on injuries. While Inman played decently, Benjamin really struggled before his injury. Aside from a few moments, he struggled his whole tenure with the Chargers. The drops were drive killers all of his years here.
Both are unlikely to be back next year. As for the rest of what the Chargers had on their roster in 2019, it was all pretty forgettable. Geremy Davis was another receiver who got hurt, and Andre Patton was probably the best receiver left on the roster not named Allen or Williams. Patton had 56 yards in 13 games. 56 yards in 13 games basically sums up what help Allen and Williams had in stretching the field and getting open.
The Chargers will have about $60 million to play with in free agency. It goes without saying that they have to look at free agency as a potential tool to rebuild the receiver group around Allen and Williams. Some notable receivers will be free agents: A.J. Green, Emmanuel Sanders, Amari Cooper, and Demaryius Thomas are just a couple. Devin Funchess and Randall Cobb will be available as well.
One name that has caught my interest is Robby Anderson. Anderson had a highlight-filled 2019. His route running and speed are off the charts, and speed is something that any incoming receiving targets need in this current system. Allen and Williams aren’t known for being particularly fast, and having a speedster could open the game for them in terms of potential big plays and yards.
The 2020 NFL draft will be another place the Chargers can look for receiving talent. Saying this is one of the better receiving classes is an understatement. Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, Laviska Shenault Jr., Ceedee Lamb, K.J. Hamler, and Jalen Reagor are just the first-round projected wide receivers. Six wide receivers would be the most taken in the first round since 2015.
That’s before even getting to guys like Michael Pittman Jr. and Brandon Aiyuk in later rounds. Even if the Chargers get one or two free agents at wide receiver, it would still be beneficial to take a receiver in the draft to bolster the group.
A receiving group that looks something like Allen, Williams, Anderson, Aiyuk, and Inman might be the preferred option for this Chargers team. It presents versatility in many areas and the additions present good complements to Allen and Williams.
While Allen and Williams present good route running and catching, they lack in speed, which Anderson and Aiyuk would more than make up for. They also are no slouches when it comes to route running. Bringing Inman back as the fifth receiver in case of injury or a couple plays a game due to his experience in the system feels beneficial as well.