Among their first six cuts of training camp, the Chargers released wide receiver Andre Patton, who was technically their WR3 during the 2019 season. But I mean, what’s the point of being the WR3 when you’re also, like, pass-catcher seven or eight at the same time?
With Patton’s release, it opens the doors a little bit wider for the rest of the receivers on the roster. Hill and Reed may not have as much of a competition anymore and a young wideout near the bottom now has a better chance of earning a final roster spot.
After Anthony Lynn’s first training camp press conference last Wednesday, we now know a little more about what he is looking for in a third wide receiver. In that Zoom call, Lynn mentions they need to find a guy with speed who can take the top off of the defense. This falls in line with my thoughts that the offense in 2019 desperately missed the presence of Tyrell Williams on the outside. The Bolts had no true threat of speed on offense - unless they lined Austin Ekeler up at WR - and that showed with a lack of finding easy throws on a consistent basis. It all accumulated into one of the worst seasons of Philip Rivers’ career and, in turn, spurred the franchise into making the decision of not bringing him back.
With all of that being said, what do the Chargers have in terms of receivers who can threaten a defense over the top? To be honest, there’s just one receiver who runs the forty in under 4.40 and that’s former UDFA Jalen Guyton.
Initially signed by the Dallas Cowboys, Guyton spent most of 2019 season on the practice squad for the Chargers. During one of their preseason games, he beat the coverage over the top but somehow lost track of the ball, leading to a gimme-touchdown that never was. He found special teams snaps in three games later in the year but never recorded a catch.
During his pro day at North Texas, Guyton was timed at 4.37 and 4.42 in his two attempts. That 4.37 would be a top-two mark with the Chargers, along with cornerback Michael Davis who was timed as his pro day in the 4.3s.
Now I’m not saying this is anywhere near a sure-thing that he makes the squad, but if Lynn is determined to find a wideout who can stretch the field, Guyton is the best he’s got for the time being. Without Patton in the mix, I could easily see Guyton win a final spot should the team decide to keep six wide receivers. Behind Allen, Williams, Reed, and Hill, those final two spaces are up for grabs and his only competition is Darius Jennings - who is mostly a return specialist - and 2019 UDFA Jason Moore, who caught a pair of passes for 34 yards in 2019.