The NFL draft is now less than a month away, and with the 13th overall pick, the LA Chargers will select a wide receiver.
There are only a few key dates every NFL fan has on their calendar each year. The first, opening weekend. Every team has a blank slate; last year is in the past, it is time to start fresh. The second is the Super Bowl, and this extends past just NFL fans. I think it is safe to say that everyone has the Super Bowl chalked up on their calendar. Finally, the NFL Draft, after a long year of suffering, a new hope is given to each NFL franchise in a young superstar from the college ranks.
April 29th is the date of the NFL Draft this year, and just like in the past, it rammed full of storylines and drama. It is especially dramatic with the 13th overall pick.
The logical selection for the LA Chargers is to take one of the many offensive linemen available to help protect Justin Herbert.
Why? They already addressed that need in free agency with the signing of Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler. GM Tom Telesco has done a great job of turning a weakness into a strength. So now, at the draft, it is time to address other needs on this team.
So I will tell you why the LA Chargers will select a wide receiver in the first round of the 2021 Draft.
The three-headed monster
The most significant selling point of taking a wideout in the first round is the three names at the top of the class.
In no particular order, Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith are all going to be elite wide receivers in the NFL and could all fall to the LA Chargers in the draft. If any of them do, the 13th selection becomes a no-brainer for Tom Telesco.
All three would be a perfect fit for the Chargers. We saw this year that Justin Herbert loves to throw the ball deep, and why not to Ja’Marr Chase, who is quick and not afraid to go up and win a one-on-one battle.
Or how about Jaylen Waddle, who has the explosive speed to complement Keenan Allens route-running skills.
How could you go wrong with the Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, who entirely dominated college football last year?
Now the question is, will any of these guys fall to the Chargers? Yes, with five quarterbacks that could go in the top 10, there is no way the three receivers mentioned above will be selected before 13.
Can’t depend on just Keenan Allen next season
Last season Justin Herbert attempted 595 passes and 147 of them were to Keenan Allen, which is 24.7%. I am not saying that this a bad thing, but it could be.
While Keenan Allen is arguably the most underrated receiver and maybe even player in the entire NFL, we cant expect him to do it all next year. Allen turns 29 in April, and that’s not young for an NFL player. It’s not old either, but we do have to recognize that he has had injury problems in the past, only playing 16 games three times in his career.
It’s safe to say that Mike Williams hasn’t become the player the Chargers expected to get when they selected him 7th overall in 2017. While Jaylen Guyton and Tyron Johnson showed great flashes in the past season, getting a solid number two option would benefit the team greatly.
It would take some of Keenan Allen’s pressure off, which could preserve him and help him stay healthy. Plus, an addition like Jaylen Waddle would force teams to single cover Allen, which will only lead to more success for number 13 and the Chargers, not to mention whichever receiver they draft.
Putting butts in seats
It’s no secret the Chargers have had some problems with getting fans to come out to games. I mean, for crying out loud, they couldn’t even fill Dignity Health Sports Park, which held 27 thousand seats. How are they supposed to fill the 70 thousand at Sofi Stadium? I’ll tell you how.
You pair the rookie of the year a season ago with a young hotshot receiver. Even more specifically, the Heisman winner from a year ago. That would be headlining news. People will be lined up around the block to see Devonta Smith and Justin Herbert shredding NFL defenses.
When it all boils down, the NFL is a business and money talks louder than anything. As crucial as offensive linemen are, they don’t fill seats or sell jerseys, or even make the mainstream media, but receivers do. Some of the most popular players in the NFL are receivers.
If the Chargers want to fill that brand new stadium, they need to draft a wide receiver in the first round of the NFL draft in less than a month.