The San Diego Chargers were so sure Robert Meachem would adequately replace Vincent Jackson they gave him a four-year, $25.9 million deal with $14 million guaranteed on the first day of the free-agency period this past March (h/t Spotrac.com).
As it turns out, Danario Alexander, an undrafted guy who was cut by the wide-receiver-needy St. Louis Rams and is making $540,000 on a one-year deal, has played more like Jackson than anyone else, especially Meachem.
Stay unpredictable, NFL.
Now, we must remember that Jackson was a dynamic staple in San Diego's explosive aerial attack for essentially six full seasons, and Alexander has produced in four games.
However, such a tremendous start to his tenure in San Diego has many asking: Is Danario Alexander the next Vincent Jackson?
Pumping the brakes on Alexander as Jackson 2.0 would be the safe play, but with the question being posed right now, let's examine the possibility.
At 6'5'' and nearly 220 pounds, the former Missouri standout certainly has comparable size to Jackson, who's listed at 6'5'' and an even 230 pounds.
Due to their stature, both are inherently capable of hauling in deep balls down the field against smaller cornerbacks and oncoming safeties.
Alexander displayed what his imposing build and deceptive athleticism—something Jackson undoubtedly possesses—can do for him on the field on an 80-yard touchdown reception against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10.
His combination of size and freakish athletic ability has made him the favorite target for Philip Rivers—something else that lends credence to any thought that he could eventually become the new Vincent Jackson.
In four games in which he has received playing time in a Chargers uniform, Alexander has garnered 29 targets—the most of any San Diego receiver over that stretch.
Last year, Jackson led the club with 114 targets, and discounting an injury-plagued 2010, it was the third time the wideout exceeded the century mark in that statistical category since 2008.
With targets, come receptions, and Alexander seems to be in line to be given a Jackson-esque amount of looks in the future.
With Rivers under center, a quarterback who has flourished operating a vertical passing game his entire career, the Chargers may have just stumbled upon the next Vincent Jackson in Danario Alexander.