Chargers' Ladd McConkey looks just like Bears' Keenan Allen in latest clip

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Many expected the LA Chargers to draft a wide receiver with the fifth pick in the 2024 NFL Draft after trading Keenan Allen to the Chicago Bears. Los Angeles took a different route, drafting offensive tackle Joe Alt in the first round instead.

Wide receiver was still a massive need for the Bolts and the team quickly addressed it in the second round. The Chargers traded up from the 37th pick to the 34th pick to draft Georgia's Ladd McConkey, who many called a first-round talent leading into the draft.

McConkey may not have had the same star power as Marvin Harrison Jr. or Malik Nabers. Still, given his situation with the Chargers, he could be one of the most productive rookies in the league. McConkey is in a situation where he has to succeed for the offense to reach its potential.

Thankfully, McConkey appears to have the skill set to succeed and become a reliable target for Justin Herbert. We know this because his route-running and footwork look eerily similar to the Chargers' old WR1.

Ladd McConkey may justify Chargers trading Keenan Allen to Bears

Replacing Keenan Allen is going to be no small feat. Allen had a career year over 30 years old in 2023 and if he had played out his contract he would have finished as the greatest wide receiver in Chargers history. There is a reason why he was arguably the biggest fan favorite on the entire team.

Expecting a rookie to step in and do everything Allen did is silly. McConkey is not going to have the same veteran feel Allen has and it is going to take time for him to build a similar rapport with Herbert.

But from a pure skillset standpoint, McConkey is arguably the best receiver the team could have drafted to replace Allen. He might not have as high of a ceiling as the first-round receivers taken ahead of him but his floor is one of the highest among his rookie counterparts. More importantly, what he does for an offense is similar to what Allen does.

McConkey wins with his exceptional footwork and savvy route-running. He is not going to be a jump-ball merchant and he won't take the top off defenses with game-breaking speed. He will live in the short and intermediate areas, using his footwork to create separation on timed routes with Herbert.

McConkey has the ability to play in the slot and out wide even though his stature may suggest otherwise. He can get the ball early behind the line of scrimmage to use his athleticism and he can also be used as a decoy to free up the field for others.

In a one-on-one jump-ball situation he is not going to be this security valve for Herbert but that isn't what Allen was. And as far as we are concerned, the Allen-Herbert partnership was one of the best in the entire league.

McConkey has all the traits to create a similar partnership with Herbert. For the sake of the Chargers, fans better hope it happens sooner rather than later.