Royal was an under-the-radar signing this offseason, as Chargers general manager A.J. Smith pried him away from the Denver Broncos with a three-year, $13.5 million contract.
The 26-year-old Royal has struggled over the past three seasons after exploding onto the scene with a monster rookie season in 2008. That year he hauled in 91 passes for 980 yards and five touchdowns. Clearly he was most effective as a slot receiver, not a No. 1 or No. 2 guy. That's why he's such a great fit in San Diego.
Head coach Norv Turner has to be salivating over the prospect of having Royal darting across the middle out of the slot. The Virginia Tech product has been struggling with a groin injury in training camp, but once he gets involved he could be incredibly dangerous for the Chargers.
Royal has to be reliable in that role and make himself an integral part of San Diego's offense, especially with Brown out.