LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: Reasonable expectations for offensive rookies

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 22: K.J. Hill #14 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs with the ball against the Tulane Green Wave at Ohio Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 22: K.J. Hill #14 of the Ohio State Buckeyes runs with the ball against the Tulane Green Wave at Ohio Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

LA Chargers rookie expectations, Joe Reed:

  • 10 receptions, 100 receiving yards, one receiving touchdown, 16 rushing attempts, 80 rushing yards, one punt return

This might seem like really low expectations for Joe Reed in his first season in the league, especially with all of the great tape on him from Virginia and how lethal he can be with the ball in his hands.

However, Reed is not the most polished receiver, his route-running and explosiveness off the line of scrimmage leave more to be desired. Despite being the first receiver taken by the Chargers in the draft, he is essentially going to be the team’s WR4 and is not going to get a ton of looks.

His receiving numbers will be low and he will average around a carry per game on some sort of gadget play, averaging five yards per carry (because of the big-play potential).

Where Reed is really going to show his value is in special teams as a punt and kick returner and at some point in the year, Reed will take a punt back to the house and swing a game for the LA Chargers.

K.J. Hill:

  • 40 receptions, 300 receiving yards, two receiving touchdowns

We decided to put both rookie receivers on the same slide as they go hand-in-hand. K.J. Hill, the all-time receptions leader at Ohio State, is going to be the team’s primary slot receiver and is going to put together promising rookie-year numbers, even if it feels a bit low.

There is a method to the madness and a source for these receiving numbers, though. Overall, whether it is all Tyrod Taylor or a mixture of Tyrod Taylor and Justin Herbert, we project there to be 3,750 passing yards this season (which would be a career-high for Taylor).

We project Keenan Allen to far and away be the number one receiver as his ability to create separation will create a reliable outlet for Tyrod. He will finish with 1,200 receiving yards.

Mike Williams will be a deep-ball threat and Taylor has a great deep-ball arm, but his overall workload will go down. He will finish with 750 receiving yards.

The running backs will get fewer receiving yards just based on the type of offense the Chargers run. They will combine for 700 receiving yards, with Ekeler getting 500. The tight end group will combine for 700 receiving yards as well, with Hunter Henry getting around 600, leaving 400 for the rookie receivers.

Reed will get 100, Hill will get 300.

Next. How the Bolts can beat each team in the AFC West

Again, it seems low, but in an offense that is almost a lock to not get over 4,000 passing yards while also having so many other passing targets, we should not expect the rookie receivers to combine for anything more than 500 receiving yards at the absolute most.

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