Besides the whole “virtual” thing, you may have noticed that the NFL draft felt a bit different this year. That’s because Todd McShay, the younger half of ESPN’s dynamic duo of senior draft analysts along with Mel Kiper Jr., was missing this year due to contracting the coronavirus.
McShay is finally back to work with ESPN, which is awesome to see. He’s now doling out a lot of the content that he would have released over the last couple of weeks and that’s good news for everyone. In one of his recent articles where he listed improved teams and “late-round contributors”, McShay included a pair of receivers taken by the Chargers on Day 3 as players he thinks will make an impact in their first professionals seasons.
The first of the two included was the team’s fifth-round pick, Joe Reed. Here’s what McShay had to say about the former Cavalier:
“Reed is built like a running back at 6 foot and 224 pounds, and he has some speed. But what I really like about this pick is his versatility. Reed has experience out wide, in the slot and occasionally in the backfield. And I love the fifth-rounder’s special-teams ability — he has 17 career tackles with that unit and was one of the more dangerous return men in the country at Virginia. He might not see a ton of targets early on behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, but his ability to line up all over and make contributions on special teams should provide an impact in Year 1.”
The final player on the list was Hill, the Bolts’ seventh-round pick that was arguably one of the biggest steals in the entire draft. Here are McShay’s thoughts:
“Two rounds after taking Reed, the Chargers selected this average-sized slot receiver at No. 220 overall. The pick screams value. I had a fourth-round grade on Hill, but he was still there in Round 7. As mentioned, Los Angeles has Allen and Williams, along with tight end Hunter Henry, but Hill’s ability to work the middle of the field shouldn’t be ignored. The Ohio State receiver ran a 4.60 at the combine, but he’s tough and smooth as a route runner. And after the catch, he shows strong instincts. Look for him to battle Reed in camp for reps.”
Like McShay said above, I certainly predict Reed and Hill to battle it out for WR3 reps this season. Some may think Andre Patton will be in on the race but I highly doubt it. He’s a former undrafted player doesn’t offer anything they aren’t going to get in their two draft picks.
My prediction is still set on Hill having the best chance of being their usual third wideout with Reed handling more duties on special teams, whether it’s returning kicks or covering them. Either way, they’ll both certainly have ample opportunities to contribute in 2020.