WR prospect with Hall of Fame lineage makes obvious plea to join Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers Introduce Jim Harbaugh As Head Coach
Los Angeles Chargers Introduce Jim Harbaugh As Head Coach / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

One position that the LA Chargers are undoubtedly going to address in the 2024 NFL Draft is wide receiver. After trading Keenan Allen and releasing Mike Williams, the Chargers sport one of the worst wide receiver rooms in the entire league.

Many expect the Chargers to take either Malik Nabers or Marvin Harrison Jr. with the fifth overall pick to kickstart the room. That alone will not be enough, as the team still needs to add another receiver later in the draft as well as a potential veteran for depth purposes.

Los Angeles very well may look to use the extra fourth-round pick the team acquired from the Chicago Bears for Allen to take a mid-round receiver. If so, there is one hometown receiver from USC who is already making his case to be taken by the Bolts.

Brenden Rice lays the foundation for Chargers to take him in 2024 NFL Draft

There is obviously some sort of connection here between Rice and the Chargers as he has already met with the team and has existing ties with Jim Harbaugh. Not to mention that USC running backs coach Kiel McDonald left to join the Chargers' staff in the same position. McDonald may not have coached Rice directly, but he is familiar with the prospect.

Pro Football Focus ranks Rice as the 95th-best prospect and the 21st-ranked wide receiver in the draft class. This puts Rice right in a position for the Chargers to take him early in the fourth round with either the 105th pick of the 110th pick.

Even though he is the son of the greatest wide receiver of all time (Jerry Rice), Rice does not jump off the page as a prospect. His showing in the NFL Combine was fine at best as he ran a 4.5 40-yard dash and showed average to slightly above average athleticism in the other drills.

Rice is not someone who is going to open up the field with his speed or put a cornerback in a blender with his route-running. With his (relative to the rest of the league) limited athleticism and route-running, he might be someone who fails to generate much separation early in his NFL career.

That being said, Rice has some of the best jump-ball skills in the draft class with some of the surest hands. He is a traditional X receiver through and through and if the Chargers are looking for someone to replace Mike Williams schematically, then Rice might be the guy in the 2024 NFL Draft class.

If Rice is taken by the Chargers do not expect big numbers in his rookie season as he would slot in as the WR4 or even WR5. But as he grows in the league, he could become Justin Herbert's next great jump-ball merchant.