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Chargers WR

Losses of Allen, Williams have LA needing pass catching

The Chargers don’t have Keenan Allen anymore. Mike Williams is also gone. Some new receiver, it seems, is going to have to rise up to relevancy in that offense.

They’ve got Quentin Johnston and Joshua Palmer coming back, and I expect they’ll be adding a significant receiver in the draft. If they select a wide receiver near the top of the second round, that may be the pass catcher who’s selected earliest in most dynasty drafts (if they select one in the first round, then definitely so).

As a first-round pick who was selected before Jordan Addison and Zay Flowers, Johnston was a disappointment as a rookie. Some would say a huge disappointment. Palmer (pictured) has at least had nominal NFL success, but he hasn’t been great. It’s not guaranteed that either of these receivers will ever ascend to being players of much note.

Working in their favor, they’ll be working with a young, up-and-coming quarterback. Justin Herbert can really sling it.

On the downside, the Chargers have brought in Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman to run things, and they have a history of relying heavily on the run. They’re more about trying to grind out victories, rather than putting up big passing numbers.

Below see the best wide receivers from the last 10 teams coached by these guys. (Harbaugh and Roman worked together in San Francisco from 2011-14; Roman later was the offensive coordinator for the Bills for 2 years and the Ravens for 4 years.)

None of those teams, of course, had a passer quite like Herbert. But Harbaugh at Michigan just had J.J. McCarthy, who’ll be a top-10 pick next week, and McCarthy didn’t average 200 passing yards in either of the last two years. I think they’ll be dialing back Herbert, with the offense having a completely different personality.

Of those previous 10 Harbaugh-Roman offenses, only six of them had a wide receiver who ranked in the top 30 (using PPR scoring). Nobody ranked higher than 15th. So if we’re setting an over-under for the placing of the best finishing Chargers receiver in the upcoming season, I would think low 30s for now.

HARBAUGH & ROMAN'S BEST WIDE RECEIVERS
YearPlayerRecYdsAvgTDPPRRk
2013Anquan Boldin, S.F.851,17913.97246.015
2012Michael Crabtree, S.F.851,10513.09250.315
2014Anquan Boldin, S.F.831,06212.85219.619
2015Sammy Watkins, Buff.601,04717.59218.820
2021Marquise Brown, Balt.911,00811.16228.321
2011Michael Crabtree, S.F.7287412.14186.027
2020Marquise Brown, Balt.5876913.38183.036
2019Marquise Brown, Balt.4658412.77146.446
2014Michael Crabtree, S.F.6869810.34162.246
2015Robert Woods, Buff.4755211.73120.257
2022Devin Duvernay, Balt.3740711.03116.161
2022Demarcus Robinson, Balt.484589.52105.867
2016Robert Woods, Buff.5161312.01118.967
2021Rashod Bateman, Balt.4651511.21103.570
2012Mario Manningham, S.F.4244910.7199.372
2019Willie Snead, Balt.3133910.9595.176
2012Randy Moss, S.F.2843415.5389.477
2015Chris Hogan, Buff.3645012.5293.677
2014Stevie Johnson, S.F.3543512.4396.578
2020Willie Snead, Balt.3343213.1394.285
2016Marquise Goodwin, Buff.2943114.9390.185
2021Devin Duvernay, Balt.332728.2283.288
2016Sammy Watkins, Buff.2843015.4283.091
2011Kyle Williams, S.F.2024112.1365.394

Harbaugh and Roman have gotten more success out of tight ends, with Mark Andrews and Vernon Davis combining for six seasons with top-10 numbers. But Los Angeles doesn’t currently have an Andrews-Davis type of tight end.

HARBAUGH & ROMAN'S BEST TIGHT ENDS
YearPlayerRecYdsAvgTDPPRRk
2021Mark Andrews, Balt.1071,36112.79301.11
2022Mark Andrews, Balt.7384711.65190.54
2013Vernon Davis, S.F.5285016.413215.04
2019Mark Andrews, Balt.6485213.310209.25
2020Mark Andrews, Balt.5870112.17170.16
2011Vernon Davis, S.F.6779211.86181.78
2016Charles Clay, Buff.575529.74136.216
2015Charles Clay, Buff.5152810.43121.818
2012Vernon Davis, S.F.4154813.45125.820
2022Isaiah Likely, Balt.3637310.4391.327
2019Hayden Hurst, Balt.3034911.6276.934
2014Vernon Davis, S.F.262459.4262.935
2012Delanie Walker, S.F.2134416.4373.435
2019Nick Boyle, Balt.3132110.4275.136
2011Delanie Walker, S.F.1919810.4357.340
2022Josh Oliver, Balt.1414910.6240.951

—Ian Allan

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