Los Angeles Chargers: Former first-round receivers to target in free agency
By Jason Reed
1. Tavon Austin
Tavon Austin would be someone who the Los Angeles Chargers would have to add more with but would be a great experimental option for the team to bring in, even if they plan on spending as high as a second-round pick on a wide receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Austin had really high expectations coming into the league as a first-round pick and never really met those expectations. He showed promising signs early in his career with the Rams as a speedy pass-catching number one option but that quickly faded and Austin became more of a threat in the ground game than the passing game.
Austin then joined the Dallas Cowboys and not much changed. Over the last two seasons, Austin has a combined 317 receiving yards and played in just 11 and 27 percent of the Cowboys’ snaps, respectively.
So why bring Austin in if he has underperformed? The ship has sailed on his potential as a true number one guy, right?
That might be the case, but having Austin as the team’s fourth-best wide receiver could lead to some creativity out of Anthony Lynn that helps the rest of the offense. The Chargers loved running the jet sweep last season and Austin is the perfect receiver to run a jet sweep.
Not only that but if he is coming in at the slot or is even coming in as the fourth receiver in spread formations then he could capitalize off of his peers around him. With Allen being the legitimate number one option and Mike Williams being the deep-ball option, Austin could specialize in underneath routes that are meant to produce yards after the catch and kickstart drives.
He is worth signing, especially considering the cost will be minimal. Even if he does not have much of an impact in the passing game, he opens up the playbook and would be a great special teams returner as well.