It’s quite clear the Los Angeles Chargers have a need at the Wide Receiver position heading into the 2017 season. It’s been a need for a long time but the Chargers have either ignored it in the draft or taken the wrong route by signing free agents. Travis Benjamin, Stevie Johnson, Eddie Royal and Dontrelle Inman are a few names that Tom Telesco has signed during his tenure, a mixed bunch to say the least so the draft must be the focus this time around.
During this weekend’s combine, Los Angeles have reportedly had meetings with two wide outs; Mike Williams, Clemson and Juju Smith-Schuster, USC. Williams has been previously mocked to the Chargers at 7 and Smith-Schuster’s range has been in the 2nd round. Meetings don’t necessarily tell you if a team is interested. The Bolts didn’t meet with either of their 2013 or 2014 first round picks, DJ Fluker and Jason Verrett.
Barring John Ross’ record breaking 40 time, it was an underwhelming performance for the Wide Receiver group at the 2017 Combine. One player who did help his stock rise was Chris Godwin, the Junior out of Penn State. In 2016, he caught 59 passes for 982 yards with 11 touchdowns. His best game came against USC in the Rose Bowl, where he finished with 9 catches, 187 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
Weight: 209 pounds
40 time: 4.42 seconds (5th best among WRs)
Bench: 19 reps (2nd)
Vertical: 36.0 inches (12th)
Board: 10’6” (12th)
3 cone: 7.01 (28th)
20-yard shuttle: 4.00 seconds (1st)
60-yard shuttle: 11.21 seconds (5th)
Godwin's 40 time is the most surprising of these results because he seems more quick than fast on film so to post that time was very impressive. The two shuttle runs come as less of a shock, with Goodwin displaying his initial quickness and burst and his ability to change direction. It’s clear watching tape that he has these skills but it was good for him to reinforce that. His 3 cone is a little slow compared to others but I wouldn't be too worried about that.
He also impressed in this catching drill:
Godwin's route tree largely consisted of out, dig, comeback, and go routes last season. This gave him experience by running a mixture of intermediate and deep routes. Penn state’s QB play last year was not the best so that almost enforced Godwin to display his good catch radius and his capability to be able to come down with contested catches. I think he’s a good fit for the Chargers with their intermediate passing game and would give Rivers another option. With his quick feet and ability to comfortably break during routes, it makes him ideal for the slot. His straight-line speed would allow him to additionally play on the outside and stretch the field and would give them freedom to move Keenan Allen around, to create mismatches. Ideally, I like to see Godwin drop to the Bolts at the top of the third, but with that combine display, I don't think he'll be making it out of the second. The Chargers have only invested in the position three times within the first 3 rounds in the last 10 drafts, and it’s about time they did it again.