The Los Angeles Chargers are officially in offseason mode, which means it’s time for the team to build for 2023 and looking at prospects. According to a mock draft performed by Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network, the Chargers will select USC wide receiver Jordan Addison with their first-round pick.
Los Angeles Chargers Select WR Jordan Addison In 2023 Mock Draft
Jordan Addison the Player
From the very first second you turn on the tape, it’s easy to see why Jordan Addison is projected to go off the board in the first round. The USC and Penn product could easily be the best separator in this class and clearly knows how to get open against any type of coverage. He’s incredibly quick on his feet with elite start-stop ability, and his various release packages allow him to get off the line of scrimmage against press coverage. That start-stop ability not only helps him on routes, but also helps him adjust to off-target passes. This skill makes him ideal for back shoulder throws, as he can stop on a dime and catch the ball before the defender realizes the pass is even in the air.
Jordan Addison rippin' Cobra Corner-Post. No mercy pic.twitter.com/edkoMr4pjw
— JetPack Galileo (@JetPackGalileo) January 16, 2023
The film speaks for itself, and Addison’s analytic profile is just as strong. Addison made an impact the second he stepped on the collegiate field, hauling in 60 receptions for 666 yards and four touchdowns as a true freshman. His 18.6 breakout age ranks in the 96th percentile, and that wasn’t a one-year fluke. Throughout his collegiate tenure, Addison posted an 80th percentile target share, 74th percentile college dominator, and declared for the NFL as a Junior. There is no formula that predicts professional success with 100% accuracy, but all of these traits tend to correlate well with NFL success.
Addison is a good prospect, but there is a reason Cummings believes he’ll be on the board in the back half of the first round. At 6′-0″ and roughly 170 pounds, Addison is smaller than your typical receiver. Now, this used to be a major issue, but the recent success of guys like Marquise Brown and DeVonta Smith has shown that smaller builds can thrive in today’s NFL. That being said, Addison still isn’t going to win too many contested passes or outmuscle cornerbacks at the point of attack. Additionally, Addison’s hands aren’t the best, and he is prone to dropping a few easy passes.
How Jordan Addison Fits the Chargers
Anyone that watched the 2022 Los Angeles Chargers should know the importance of the wide receiver position. When Keenan Allen and Mike Williams were on the field and healthy, the offense was good. When they weren’t, the team struggled to move the ball through the air. Now, some of this had to do with the fired Joe Lombardi, but the fact remains that there is no such thing as too many good pass-catchers in today’s NFL.
In the short term, Allen, Williams, and Addison can form a lethal three-headed monster at wide receiver. Justin Herbert is one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in the league, and an offense with those four playmakers could be as good as any. In the long term, however, Addison could be an ideal fit to take over for Keenan Allen.
If Addison’s scouting report sounded familiar, it’s because he shares a lot of traits with Keenan Allen. Now, this isn’t to say that they’re the same exact player, but they have similar strengths. Like Allen, Addison excels at getting open at all three levels of the field and makes up for his lack of straight-line speed with impressive footwork and elite route running. Now entering his age-31 season, the Chargers need to think about life after Allen. Addison fits the needs of this team in both the short- and long-term and would be a great selection in the first round.