Chargers Sign Parrish: A Breakdown of the Updated Wide Receiver Depth Chart
The San Diego Chargers have announced the signing of former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Roscoe Parrish on a one-year contract. Parrish is the third free-agent wide receiver that the team has signed this offseason after having already added Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal to the offense.
He is a 29-year-old veteran who has been with the Bills ever since he entered the league back in 2005. Although he wasn’t a huge contributor to the Bills on offense, he was a solid contributor on special teams where he was used as both a kick and punt returner.
The Chargers' wide receiver group now appears to be set with six receivers currently on the roster, and all are expected to have a role on the team next season. With all the wide receivers in place and Philip Rivers at quarterback, the Chargers' passing game is looking good for the upcoming season.
The only thing that’s left to decide now is how the wide receiver depth chart will look.
Here’s my prediction.
No. 1 and No. 2 Starting Receivers: Malcom Floyd and Robert Meachem
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Overview: Floyd should begin the season as the No. 1 receiver due to his familiarity with Philip Rivers. I’m expecting him to post a career high in catches, but I think that once Meachem gets to grips with the offense after a few games, Floyd should drop down one spot on the depth chart to the No. 2 receiver.
Projected Stats: 53 Catches, 722 Yards, 5 Touchdowns.
Overview: Meachem is coming to the Chargers with high expectations. Asked in his welcoming press conference what he hopes to achieve with the Chargers' offense, he responded, “I just want to make the big play.”
A speedy wide receiver who was a reliable deep threat with the New Orleans Saints, I think he’ll be making plenty of big plays with the Chargers. Expect to see Meachem post career highs in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns this season due to an increased role as a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver.
Projected Stats: 58 Catches, 836 Yards, 10 Touchdowns.
No. 3 and No. 4 Slot Receivers: Vincent Brown and Eddie Royal
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Overview: I have been a fan of Brown ever since the Chargers selected him in Round 3 of the 2011 draft. He isn’t the fastest wide receiver in the NFL nor is he the biggest, but he is a solid route-runner who has a habit of making great catches.
After a promising rookie season in which he had 329 receiving yards, I’m expecting him to continue that form this season. Brown should start the season as the No. 3 receiver who can play on the outside when Meachem is in the slot.
Projected Stats: 46 Catches, 452 Yards, 4 Touchdowns.
Overview: Royal is coming off his worst season in the NFL in which he had a career-low 19 catches. Although I do expect that number to increase now that he has Philip Rivers as opposed to Tim Tebow throwing him the ball, I still don’t expect Royal to return to the form he showed during his rookie season in which he had 91 catches.
Projected Stats: 25 Catches, 260 Yards, 1 Touchdown.
No. 5 and No. 6 Kick/Punt Returners: Richard Goodman and Roscoe Parrish
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Overview: After serving as the Chargers primary kick returner last season, Goodman was tendered and will be back with the team for this season. He faces competition for return duties from newly signed Roscoe Parrish but should continue to act as the team’s primary kick returner with Parrish expected to return punts.
Projected Stats: 2 Catches, 50 Yards, 0 Touchdowns, 1 Kick Return Touchdown.
Overview: Parrish could turn out to be a nice addition for the Chargers. I’m expecting him to have a small role on offense as a No. 5 receiver, but it’s special teams where he could really add to the team.
Parrish has averaged an impressive 12 yards per punt return during his career, which is second in the NFL only to Devin Hester. Expect to see him make plenty of big plays on punt returns next season.
Projected Stats: 16 Catches, 180 Yards, 2 Touchdowns, 1 Punt Return Touchdown.
Offensive Needs in the Draft
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Now that the wide receivers are set, let's look forward to the draft.
Although most of the Chargers' draft needs come on defense, the team could still use some help on offense.
The Chargers' offensive needs are mainly centered around the offensive line. The team could use another interior lineman and could possibly bring in a tackle to compete with Jeromey Clary.
However, if LaMichael James is available in the second or third rounds, he should be the Chargers' No. 1 target to add to the offense.
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