Morning links: Allen a No. 1 WR? Not yet

April, 8, 2014
Apr 8
10:45
AM ET
Good morning. In this ESPN Insider piece Insider, ESPN NFL Insider Matt Williamson ranked his No. 1 pass catchers in the league, and San Diego’s Keenan Allen fell short of making the list.

Williamson’s list of 14 players includes two tight ends -- New England’s Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints. He states that just because a player is the No. 1 target on a team doesn’t necessarily make him a No. 1 receiver.

Players such as Detroit’s Calvin Johnson, Cincinnati’s A.J. Green and Atlanta’s Julio Jones are obvious choices.

I believe Allen showed he can be a No. 1 in receiver in the NFL during his impressive rookie season. But in order to be placed on a list with perennial Pro Bowlers such as Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson, Allen has to put up those same numbers for more than one season.

Here’s how Williamson defined his criteria for a No. 1 pass receiver:
  • They need to have the ability to separate from man coverage, understand how to find the soft spots in zones and have very strong athletic traits.
  • They need to be strong, fast and play big, which often -- but not always -- can eliminate shorter wide receivers from this equation.
  • They must be productive, even when opposing defenses are scheming to take them out of the equation; No. 1 receivers can be uncoverable and never come off the field.
  • They must display the above traits with consistency.
ESPN college football reporter Brett McMurphy writes that former Chargers tight end Kellen Winslow Sr. has been hired as the athletic director of Florida A&M.

Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego reports that former Boise State defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe will visit the Chargers on Monday as part of a pre-draft visit.

Darren Smith of The Mighty 1090 talks with Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix in this audio link. Nix says that he’s had three pre-daft visits, but has not met with the Chargers in San Diego. Nix said he did meet with the Chargers at the NFL scouting combine. Nix is pegged to go at No. 25 by the Chargers in several mock drafts.

Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reports that Troy quarterback Deon Anthony will work out for the Chargers on April 22 as a receiver.

Dan Pompei writing for Sports on Earth notes the growing importance of the safety position in the NFL.

Eric D. Williams

ESPN San Diego Chargers reporter

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