LOS ANGELES -- Having already addressed multiple future needs on offense in the 2020 NFL draft, the Los Angeles Chargers used their fifth-round pick to tackle a more immediate one, selecting Virginia wide receiver Joe Reed.
At 6-foot, 224 pounds, Reed possess the build more reminiscent of a running back than a wideout. However, Reed enters the league as an accomplished route runner with excellent speed and hands. He also excelled on special teams where averaged 28.8 yards per kickoff return during his collegiate career. Reed will more likely make his largest contribution in the return game early in his career.
Still, his physical tools suggest he can eventually become a capable deep threat in the Chargers offense. "In four years, I didn't drop any deep passes," he said during a conference call with media. "If that's what they have in the system for me, that's something I'm definitely capable of doing, being a vertical threat."
The Chargers' interest in Reed might also stem from how Virginia utilized him on offense. The Cavaliers leaned on Reed's size and versatility, motioning him around the formation including in the backfield and behind the offensive tackle. Los Angeles incorporates those concepts as well, making Reed easier to project into his new system.
With Reed in the fold, the Chargers have spent three of their four draft picks thus far on offense. The lone exception, Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray, came off the board with the No. 23 overall selection. Los Angeles will go on the clock two more times in the 2020 draft absent a trade.
-- Jason B. Hirschhorn is an award-winning sports journalist and Pro Football Writers of America member. Follow him on Twitter: @by_JBH