Why re-signing Jalen Guyton will not change the Chargers' draft strategy at WR
The Chargers announced the re-signing of Jalen Guyton last week as voluntary workouts got underway in Los Angeles. After tearing his ACL last season against Jacksonville, the return of the receiver was up in the air for a while. But Tom Telesco in his presser on Monday said that the goal had been trying to get Guyton back for 2023 since the end of last season.
Telesco also answered a question about how Guyton shapes the Chargers' draft plans at the wide receiver position. As expected, his answer was that not much has changed:
For a few reasons, Guyton shouldn't change the equation the Chargers need for at least one,if not two, wide receivers in the draft.
Jalen Guyton is quality depth for the Chargers, but not more than that
Jalen Guyton has exceeded expectations in Los Angeles since joining the team as an undrafted free agent and becoming a reliable deep threat. He has notable chemistry with Justin Herbert. In 2020 and 2021 he secured over 440+ yards in each season. Working in tandem as the third or fourth guy behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams has allowed him to flourish in a go-route burner role. He's also improved in the intermediate game.
But Guyton is not someone who projects to be a team's #1 or #2 wideout on the depth chart, especially a year after coming back from an ACL injury. His current role is what he's best at. If the Chargers want to draft a true #1 wideout in the first two days of the draft or someone who eventually projects to be that, Guyton isn't stopping them.
Another thing aside from potentially drafting a receiver with their top 100 picks is special teams. At this stage, Guyton isn't going to be asked to be a special teams returner a la DeAndre Carter last year. That's something the Chargers could look at late on day three or in undrafted free agency.