The Pick: Wide Receiver Joe Reed, University of Virginia
University of Virginia wide receiver Joe Reed became the latest Charger after they selected him in the 5th round. He has size (6’0”, 224 lbs) and speed (4.47 40-yard dash, 94th percentile speed score), fitting exactly what the Chargers needed. He served as an all-purpose threat, scoring 22 career touchdowns as a returner (5), receiving (16) and rushing (1). Next, Reed offers explosive after-the-catch ability as demonstrated by a penchant to use him on screens. Finally, he was arguably the best kick returner in the draft with a 33.2 yards per return average. In fact, Reed has the impressive distinction of being the first player in FBS history to reach 2,700 kick return yards.
How does he fit with the Chargers?
Last year, the leading wide receiver not named Mike Williams or Keenan Allen was Andre Patton with six receptions. Going into the draft, the Chargers desperately needed another receiving threat that had long speed. They also needed a returner… desperately… for years. While they picked up wide receiver Darius Jennings in free agency, more competition at returner doesn’t hurt.
Reed was pegged by the FPC Chargers Draft Guide as a possible contributor to both special teams and a deep threat. He also fits with new quarterback Justin Herbert. The Chargers new quarterback often threw bubble screens at Oregon, allowing his receivers to get upfield quickly. Finally, Daniel Popper of the Athletic reported that Anthony Lynn compared Joe Reed to former All-Pro returner Joshua Cribbs. He should be an electric addition to a number of positions for the Chargers that fans will love to watch on Sundays.