Los Angeles Chargers WR Revamp: Ranking the Receiving Corps After Roster Shakeup

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

No one expected the Los Angeles Chargers wide receiving room to be better after trading Keenan Allen and cutting Mike Williams. Still, the latest rankings paint a more bleak picture than maybe even the most pessimistic fan. A look at two different rankings shows that the Chargers pass-catchers leave a lot to be desired.

The first, Pro Football Focus positional rankings rated the group as the second worst in the NFL. The other, NFL.com’s Top 10 Roster Holes puts the corps as the third biggest roster hole in the league.

Los Angeles Chargers WR Group Rankings

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Here is PFF’s breakdown of the group;

Boy, the Chargers receiving options don’t look good this year. The team lost Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Gerald Everett and Austin Ekeler from last season’s depth chart, and first-rounder Quentin Johnston did not look the part in 2023.

The Chargers still have Johnston and Josh Palmer, and they did sign D.J. Chark and draft Ladd McConkey and Brenden Rice. Someone has to step up big from that group.

PFF ranked only the New England Patriots below.

As for NFL.com?

In Jim Harbaugh‘s first season, the plan appears to be: throw bodies at the receiver spot and see who rises to the top. A true No. 1 appears lacking. Second-round pick Ladd McConkey could see a trove of targets, but he’ll still be a first-year player who never saw overwhelming production at Georgia and dealt with injuries. Josh Palmer also missed games last year and profiles as a solid No. 3 rather than a field-tilter.

Then there is 2023 first-rounder Quentin Johnston, who was miscast in the offense last year and struggled mightily with play strength and drops. The Chargers seem to be counting on Johnston to develop exponentially in a more suitable system. DJ Chark, Derius Davis and seventh-round rookies Brenden Rice and Cornelius Johnson round out the group. Adding another veteran to the mix could help Justin Herbert in a transition year.

NFL ranked the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers and the Atlanta Falcons edge rushers as bigger roster needs.

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Similarly to the old phrase, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound,” the question for the Jim Harbaugh/Greg Roman-led Chargers offense is does it matter? The pair have never demanded an offense be beholden to a great receiver. The last time they called an offense together their top receivers were Michael Crabtree and an over-the-hill Anquan Bolden.

Some expect a philosophical change from Harbaugh and/or Roman since Justin Herbert will easily be the best quarterback in a Harbaugh offense, but reading the breadcrumbs they have left so far in the offseason it is doubtful that they will change their stripes.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers Minicamp
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports