In my title for this slide, I used the word legitimate. Why is that word so important?
The word is important as it speaks the truth about the shift in the WR position due to the holdout of Vincent Jackson.
With Malcolm Floyd, who is a legitimate WR, playing at the number one slotted WR, the second WR position is up for grabs.
Let's look at the three WR that are vying for that starting role on the Chargers offense.
Legedu Naanee in my mind is one of the most talented dynamic WR's on the Chargers roster.
Why? He does something that neither Jackson or Floyd don't do often enough, that's going over the middle. Analyst love to talk about the Chargers' deep throws and acrobatic catches but none of them even bother to mention the importance of converting on third downs in short situations which the Chargers didn't do all to well.
Floyd, like Jackson, had tough times hitting short routes due to their long strides. Players like Naanee who are a bit shorter and compact with that added weight, often can make those over the middle catches with separation.
Analyst question Naanee's ability to stretch the field like Floyd and Jackson but fail to mention anything about the short game that neither of those players exhibited.
That's why I like Naanee because of his dynamic and what the can bring to the offense which is different than the usual stretch the field. I believe if Jackson and Floyd had those short route abilities perfected, the Chargers wouldn't even have bothered trying to run the ball on third and short with a struggling LT.
Buster Davis is another WR that is fighting to give the coaches a better look as a typical Vertical Offense WR.
He fits the Vertical Offense bill for sure, but Davis has been injured one too many times for the Chargers to even bother testing the theory of whether he can play as a starting WR if he had not been injured.
Davis, by no means, is anything like Naanee in terms of what Naanee can give to the offense. He sure doesn't look anything close to the towering height of Jackson or Floyd. What does make Davis a great fit for Turner's Vertical Offense is his ability to stretch the field.
Davis by no means is strong in the run game or strong in the short game but what he does do is make the safety account for his vertical game.
The only player I can compare what Davis brings to the game is what Chris Chambers did for the Chargers. Chambers, like Davis, isn't tall but the man can flat out go vertical on anyone. That's what Davis can bring to the offense.
Josh Reed is the Chargers new free agent pickup. I believe he has more experience as a starting WR than both Davis and Naanee, but what Davis and Naanee have over Reed is experience with the Chargers offense. Reed doesn't have height but one thing is evident, he showed he can make plays.
I don't believe Reed has a legitimate shot as a No. 2 WR unless injuries occur to Naanee or Davis. The reason why Reed came to the Chargers in the first place had a lot to do with Naanee moving to No. 2 WR, Floyd to number one WR, and ultimately, Jackson holding out.
Reed was brought in to do what Naanee did for the Chargers as a number three WR and that's go over the middle. AJ Smith liked Reed's experience and felt he has the poise to be that third-and-short WR that the Chargers can count on when the pressure is on during a drive.
Reed may not have a shot at starting, but he may take reps there if both Naanee and Davis don't pan out.
In all honesty, Naanee as of right now is the starter. He brings a dynamic to the offense that none of the other WR's bring.
Until the season starts and Naanee, Davis, or Reed can prove their worth as a No. 2 WR, the Chargers will go through camp with concerns about having a legitimate No. 2.