The LA Chargers only have three NFL-caliber wide receivers on the roster and just lost another key member of last year's team. Return man DeAndre Carter signed a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders, creating a massive opening at kick and punt returner for the Bolts.
With an already thin wide receiver market depleted at this point, the Chargers are likely going to need to turn to the 2023 NFL Draft to replace Carter. Realistically, the Chargers are going to have to draft two receivers barring a cheap signing for depth purposes.
That means that the Bolts could target an early-round receiver to fill in on the offense with a later-round receiver that will primarily be asked to play on special teams. Regardless of the gameplan, there are some names that stand out.
3 receivers the Chargers can draft to replace DeAndre Carter as returner:
Jayden Reed, Western Michigan
The Chargers already tried drafting one receiver with the Reed last name to be a returner and that did not pan out (although we will never give up on Joe Reed here at Bolt Beat). Might as well run it back and bring in Western Michigan's Jayden Reed.
Reed has a lot more to like about his game than just being a kick return specialist. He fits the Chargers' M-O in the size department (measuring at five-eleven) and is relatively quick, running a 4.45 40-yard dash at the combine.
Reed showed the versatility to play both outside and in the slot with Western Michigan and showed the ability to make contested catches in traffic. His struggles in separation can be worked around if he is schemed open and at the very least, it allowed him the chance to show his point-of-catch skills in college.
Reed ranks 106th on the consensus NFL Draft big board and is expected to be a late third to early fourth-round pick. He is an example of someone the Bolts could take with a top-100 pick to not just be a returner but contribute on offense as well.