A closer look at the areas the San Diego Chargers could address in the draft. We'll get started on Monday with a look at the wide receivers, which is scheduled to work out Saturday in Indianapolis.
Position of need: Keenan Allen is one of the promising, young receivers in the league and Dontrelle Inman flashed at the end of the 2014 season. But Eddie Royal is a pending unrestricted free agent and Malcom Floyd turns 34 in September. So the Chargers need to add some young talent at receiver, preferably with long speed. San Diego also could use a playmaker as a return specialist.
Three players the Chargers could target in the draft:
Tyler Lockett, Kansas State: Listed at 5-10 and 181 pounds, he will be downgraded because of his size. But Lockett might be the most polished route runner coming out of the draft. He consistently creates separation out of his breaks, has great hands and sneaky speed on deep routes. Lockett also plays with great anticipation and has good field awareness. Most will say he's a slot receiver at the next level, but because of his ability to beat press coverage, Lockett can play on the perimeter in the NFL. Lockett reminds me of Royal or Doug Baldwin of the Seattle Seahawks. He also has the added bonus of being a good return man. It will be important for Lockett to prove his long speed by running in the mid-4.4s in the 40-yard dash at the combine. He's a plug-and-play guy at the next level. Lockett finished with 106 receptions for 1,515 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns his final season at Kansas State.
Jaelen Strong, Arizona State: At 6-3 and 215 pounds, Strong has the prototypical size the Chargers look for in a receiver that will line up on the perimeter. He does a great job of fighting for the football and making contested catches. The one concern I would have is Strong's ability to consistently create separation deep against the elite athletes at cornerback in the NFL. Also, he could be too similar to someone already on the roster in Allen. Strong finished with a very productive year his final season at Arizona State, totaling 82 catches for 1,165 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
Vince Mayle, Washington State: Listed at 6-3 and 220 pounds, Mayle can make contested catches and create big plays down the field. He's still a work in progress as a route runner, but Mayle has an NFL body and finished with good production in a pass-first offense for the Cougars. He could be a sleeper as a mid-to-late-round selection. The Chargers reportedly were spotted talking to Mayle at the Senior Bowl. Mayle finished with 106 receptions for 1,483 yards and nine touchdowns his final season at Washington State.