In a recent article by BleacherReport.com’s Doug Farrar, the Chargers receiving corps was rated as the seventh-best group of pass-catchers in the NFL. One spot behind the Green Bay Packers and one spot ahead of the Miami Dolphins.
Farrar wasn’t shy about his expectations for the Chargers wideouts:
“This was a sneaky-good unit in 2016, and the selection of Clemson star Mike Williams in the first round of the 2017 draft could put it over the top as one of the league’s best.”
Of course, the Chargers already know they have a deep group of self-proclaimed “aliens” and the addition of a bully-ball receiver such as Williams only adds another dangerous threat. With almost a third of his production in 2016 coming from balls thrown over 20 yards in the air, it’s safe to say Williams knows how to come down with the rock.
Farrar continues with what feels like a back-handed compliment towards current WR1 Keenan Allen by referring to him as a “fine complementary” wide receiver when he is healthy.
Chargers fans know just how productive Allen can be when on the field. Alas, there lies the problem. Allen missed half of the 2015 season and lasted all but 30 minutes into the 2016 season before being lost for the year. However, there was still a silver lining to be found.
Allen’s unfortunate injury opened up the doors for several budding stars in second-year man Tyrell Williams and former CFL standout Dontrelle Inman. Number 16 wound up leading the team in receiving yards with his first 1,000-yard season while Inman also put up a very respectable 810 yards on 58 catches.
You could make a case that, if it wasn’t for Allen’s injury, fans would still be viewing the team’s receiver group as fairly lackluster.
Farrar wraps up the article by stating what most fans surely know but don’t want to accept as fact.
Antonio Gates is not the player he once was.
As sad as it is to see, this is the cold, hard truth.
With one last season to leave his lasting marks on the game, Gates will be joined by heir-apparent Hunter Henry to make up one of the league's best tight end duos. The pair combined for 15 touchdowns and finished tied for second and first on the team in touchdowns, respectively.
My take: I would have been upset if the Chargers were not listed in the top-10 so #7 leaves me content. The only team I would argue that shouldn’t be above the Chargers are the Oakland Raiders listed at #3. The pairing of Cooper and Crabtree should be up there as far as duos go but their Tight end situation and WR3 and 4 spots do not stack up to the Bolts in the slightest. Seth Roberts and Cordarrelle Patterson? Gross.
What do the fans think of these rankings? Is it correct? Or are the Chargers getting the shaft in some way?