Chargers fans must accept this harsh reality about drafted wide receivers

Los Angeles Charges OTA Offseason Workout
Los Angeles Charges OTA Offseason Workout / Harry How/GettyImages

The LA Chargers created one of the worst wide receiver rooms in the league by trading Keenan Allena and releasing Mike Williams this offseason. But because of the salary-cap mess that Tom Telesco left for Joe Hortiz, those moves had to be made.

It was clear that the Chargers were going to address the wide receiver room in the 2024 NFL Draft and that is exactly what the team did. After not signing a single veteran wide receiver before the draft, the Chargers went out and drafted three wide receivers — Ladd McConkey, Brenden Rice, and Cornelius Johnson.

The expectations are high for these rookie receivers. McConkey has been lauded as a first-round talent who fell to the second round in a loaded wide receiver class. Rice and Johnson are viewed as steals, with both receivers projected to go earlier than the seventh round prior to the draft.

While it is always great to look at the glass half full, it is important to also have realistic expectations for incoming rookies. These realistic expectations yield a harsh reality that fans have to accept about the incoming rookie receivers.

Chargers will most likely cut at least one rookie wide receiver

Many fans are penciling Rice and Johnson in to contribute to the team next season but in reality, one of the two won't be on the team in 2024. There is even a world in which neither player is on the 53-man roster come Week 1.

But the Chargers just drafted them in the seventh round! That does not mean anything. It is not uncommon for a team to cut a seventh-round pick before their first season. The Chargers did it last year with Max Duggan.

As it stands right now there is not enough room for the Chargers to carry both Johnson and Rice on the 53-man roster. The team has a depth chart consisting of McConkey, Joshua Palmer, Quentin Johnston, Derius Davis and D.J. Chark, who the team signed after the draft. Those five receivers leave room for just one more receiver to make the roster.

And that is assuming the Chargers carry six wide receivers on the active roster. It is not unheard of for teams to only carry five active wide receivers and for a run-heavy team like the Chargers, that could be the case. If so, both Rice and Johnson would miss the cut.

There is also a route in which the Chargers favor Simi Fehoko's veteran presence over the two rookies and he is the sixth receiver, although that is less likely.

The Chargers would likely be able to retain both players on the practice squad just like the team did last year with Duggan. But there is risk involved, as other teams would be able to claim either player after being cut to be part of that team's 53-man roster.

So don't get too excited about the two seventh-round wideouts that the Chargers drafted in the seventh round. It was not that long ago that the Chargers drafted Joe Reed and K.J. Hill on the third day of the NFL Draft and they failed to live up to expectations.

That could very well be the case again with this class. Just be prepared.