Chargers Draft

Solving the Chargers’ need for speed

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 15: Travis Benjamin #12 of the Los Angeles Chargers reacts in the second quarter during a game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 15, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 15: Travis Benjamin #12 of the Los Angeles Chargers reacts in the second quarter during a game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on September 15, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/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)

Step three: Invest in a speedster in the draft

It’s no secret that this draft class is particularly loaded when it comes to wide receivers. Daniel Jeremiah recently said on his podcast that he has upwards of 20 wideouts that he thinks will be instant impact players.

There’s a bit of everything too: speedsters, technicians, big-bodied jump ball acrobats, short and refined slot guys, the bottom line is this class has it all.

But to reiterate, the Chargers already have a short route technician, a jump ball weapon, and a great pass-catching running back. They need burners.

Brandon Aiyuk out of Arizona State fits that bill perfectly. Aiyuk is flat out explosive. An initial junior college transfer, Aiyuk flashed big-play ability as a junior at Arizona State behind N’Keal Harry but took his game to the next level without Harry gobbling up the majority of the targets down in Tempe.

This past season Aiyuk proved he was one of the most versatile passing weapons in the country. He finished the year with 65 catches for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns, which was good for over 18 yards a catch.

He also showed the ability to really excel in the return game. He would bring a level of versatility and explosiveness that the Chargers have not had in some time.

Brandon Aiyuk, WR, #ASU:

• Like a RB after the catch • Big play waiting to happen (+)• Turns 5-yard catches into 50-yarders• Strong through contact • Play patiencepic.twitter.com/m6cwpPlrFC

— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) February 5, 2020

Jalen Raegor out of TCU is another popular name Chargers fans bring up but he has been getting first-round hype recently, something that will likely only increase after the scouting combine concludes.

For now, Aiyuk still potentially could be available in the third round but the Chargers would likely have to take him in the second to ensure he is still there.

Another name to keep an eye on is KJ Hamler out of Penn State. He is not as polished as a route runner as Raegor or Aiyuk but he is absolutely explosive. He did run most of his routes from the slot during his time as a Nittany Lion but I would be confident that the Chargers could develop him to the point where he could work on the outside more frequently to seek out mismatches.

The upside here is that he likely is available in round three so while he’s not as clean of a fit as Raegor or Aiyuk, his value is still excellent and can be had a full round later.

Luckily this wide receiver class is incredibly talented. Any new additions will help out, even if you took a guy like Isaiah Hodgins from Oregon State, K.J. Hill from Ohio State, or Van Jefferson from Florida, the team would be in a much better spot talent-wise.

Ideally, they get someone that is more of a vertical, downfield threat that can complement what they currently have but any one of those guys would be a solid addition in rounds three or four.

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