The Chargers are playing their first preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams this Saturday - the first of three preseason games that will determine what the roster will look like for week one against the Washington Football Team.
There are multiple position groups that have been in competition all training camp long, but there is one group that might come down to the wire: the wide receivers.
"Top to bottom, since I've been in the NFL, this is the deepest receiving corps that I've ever been a part of, five years in the league," head coach Brandon Staley said on the depth of the wide receiver group. "[Defensive Coordinator] Renaldo Hill played defensive back in this league for 10 years and has been coaching for five years; there are a lot of guys to cover. I've said it, and I'm not saying for effect, I'm saying it because I mean it; when you go with [WRs] Keenan [Allen], Mike [Williams], T-Billy [Tyron Johnson], Jalen [Guyton], Josh Palmer, KJ Hill and J-Moore [Jason Moore]. I'm going to keep going. Those are all quality NFL players that I'm naming here. Those are all quality players. They're all showing what they can do. That competition is bringing out the best in them. I think that it's going to be a strength of our team, that receiver group."
The Chargers have a dynamic wide receiver duo led by Keenan Allen, who is a route running technician, and Mike Williams who can go up and grab contested deep balls. During training camp, those two have flashed their growing connections with second year quarterback Justin Herbert and how important they will be in Joe Lombardi's new offensive scheme.
All eyes are turned to who will emerge as Herbert's third option.
One suitor for that spot might be third year wide receiver Jalen Guyton. Guyton was a deep threat for the Bolts last year, recording a 72-yard touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a 70-yard touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Guyton spent his offseason making sure he got better every single day.
"I'd say more of the intermediate routes," Jalen Guyton said on what he worked on in the offseason. "A lot of learning the game for me, not necessarily from a technique standpoint, but [rather] diagnosing coverages. Playing more with my head. That's where someone like Slay [WR Keenan Allen] comes in - just learning a lot of the stuff that you don't see but know he's thinking about."
Guyton finds himself among many talented wide receivers competing day in and day out. Having a group like this is a good problem to have, but will leave Staley with some difficult decisions up ahead.
"Yeah, and that's a good thing," Staley said on the tough decision looming. "You want the decisions to be tough because that means that you have balance. You've heard me talk about that. That's what you're looking for. When you have depth in those tough decisions that you have to make, that's a good thing and not a bad thing."
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