The Los Angeles Chargers must rely on two young wide receivers to replace Mike Williams, who will miss the remainder of the 2023-24 season with a torn ACL. WRs Josh Palmer and Quentin Johnston must step up.
Los Angeles Chargers’ young receiver number 1
The first receiver candidate who must step up is Josh Palmer. Josh Palmer is currently in his third season with the Los Angeles Chargers. He has been the starter for the last two seasons.
Before his senior year in high school, Palmer committed to play for the Syracuse Orange. Nine days after his official visit to the Tennessee Volunteers, Palmer de-committed to Syracuse and committed to the Volunteers for the 2017 season.
Josh Palmer’s tenure in Tennessee
Palmer appeared in every game but only started in five games, catching nine passes for 98 yards in his freshman season. He took advantage of the starting gig during his sophomore season, catching 23 passes for 484 yards and two touchdowns. Palmer had 34 receptions for 457 yards and one touchdown his junior season.
Top receivers Jauan Jennings and Marquez Callaway declared for the 2020 draft. Jauan Jennings was selected by San Francisco in the 7th round-217th overall, and Marquez Callaway signed with New Orleans as an undrafted free agent.
COVID shortened Tennessee’s season, only playing in 10 games in 2020. Palmer led the team with 33 receptions, 475 receiving yards, and four receiving touchdowns his last season. He declared for the 2021 draft.
Josh Palmer’s journey to the NFL
Josh Palmer was invited to the 2021 Senior Bowl, playing for the American team. Palmer impressed scouts during the one-on-one drills and caught two passes for 27 yards and one touchdown.
COVID canceled the 2021 Combine, but Tennessee’s Pro Day was still in session. On March 25th, Tennessee hosted their pro day, and Josh Palmer impressed scouts. The Los Angeles Chargers selected him 77th overall in the 2021 draft.
Palmer appeared in all 17 games and started in 5 during his rookie season, having 33 receptions for 353 yards and four receiving touchdowns. Palmer sat behind Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and Jalen Guyton, participating in 38% of snaps.
Injuries to Jalen Guyton, Mike Williams, and Keenan Allen allowed Palmer to start his second season. Palmer caught 72 passes for 769 yards and three receiving touchdowns in 11 starts.
Los Angeles Chargers’ young receiver number 2
The last receiver candidate who must step up is rookie WR Quentin Johnston. Quentin Johnston started the season as Mike Williams’ backup. Johnston expects to be the starter for Williams, meaning he is under the most pressure.
Johnston led the team in receiving in each of his three seasons at TCU. Year three was the most productive year for Johnston, who had 60 receptions for 1,069 yards and six receiving touchdowns. Johnston decided to forgo his senior season and declare for the 2023 draft. The Los Angeles Chargers selected Quentin Johnston in the 1st round-21st overall in the 2023 NFL draft.
Josh Palmer and Quentin Johnston must step up.
Both receivers must step up, not one, both. Expect Keenan Allen to continue to be the most targeted receiver, especially when Austin Ekeler is out. If Allen continues to play well, teams will double-team him, which means Josh Palmer or Quentin Johnston will be one-on-one. Quentin Johnston has the size and speed to be the ideal replacement for Mike Williams. Expect Johnston to fill the void.
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