The departure of Vincent Jackson left not only a trail of stunned and dejected Charger Fans, but a crater of a hole at the Wide Receiver position. Just two days after Jackson signed his monster deal to become a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, the Chargers have made a variety of moves at receiver. In recent history, the Charger's top pass catchers at receiver have fit a mold. Turner and his offensive staff have carried large, possession receivers who thrive in jump ball situations. The Malcom Floyd and Vincent Jackson era have ended. New Additions, Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem will join impressive rookie Vincent Brown and the aforementioned Malcom Floyd to form an interesting receiving core at the least; and maybe...just maybe, form a more capable group, than years past. Analyzing the type of receiver that is being brought in, shines a new light on even the most serious of Vincent Jackson obsess-er. See highlights below:
Robert Meachem- 6'2 210, 2011 (with NO): 40 Rec. 620 Yards. 6 TD's:
The former first round pick from Tennessee has been used smartly in the prolific Saints system. After a couple of slow years to start his career, Meachem has blossomed into a big play threat that has been hidden behind Graham, Colston, Moore, and Henderson. At 27, he has emerged and as a low mileage player is a candidate to step up in a big way. What you may lose in physicality, you gain in pure speed when comparing Jackson to Meachem. He also is consistent at making the catch when given the chance.
Eddie Royal- 5'10 185, 2010 (with Denver) 59 Rec. 627 Yards. 3 TD's. Injured in 11':
Charger Fans are all to familiar with this shifty Virginia Tech Product, who single-handedly beat the Charger's two years ago on Monday Night. (see highlight video below) Although some claim that his value is purely in the return game, which is enough to warrant his signing ; Royal clearly brings an element to the slot of this receiving core that has been missing for quite some time. Smaller in stature, and "Welker like" on many levels, Royal uses his size to find holes on crossing routes and is versatile in the screen and reverse game. Last year, with Patrick Crayton in the slot (another tall, possession receiver), Rivers struggled in short yardage situations to find a quick target. Another home run hitter.
The ability to sign these players at reasonable prices played a role, and patching up the recieving core may be far from finished. Always important, is to remember how Philip River's improves the receivers around him. Without a holding out Jackson and an injured Floyd in 09'-10', Rivers still threw for over 4500 yards. He has never had receivers with quite the home run hitting ability that Royal and Meachem bring to the position. Assuming they are able to get on the same page, Rivers now has a variety of prototypes at wideout to choose from: Possession, Speed, Small, and Big. All of which create match up problems for an opposing defense.
What do you think of A.J. Smith's receiver additions and the Core as a whole?
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