The Los Angeles Chargers gave Mike Williams an eyepopping contract in free agency, re-signing him for three years and $60 million. That was until the Jaguars gave Christian Kirk a monster contract. The Chargers weren’t done after re-signing Mike Williams, getting athletic former-Los Angeles Rams tight end Gerald Everett for two years and $12 million, including $8 million guaranteed. Let’s take a look at the 2022 prospects for these two additions to the Los Angeles Chargers receiving room.
Mike Williams’ 2021 season was, in short, incredibly bizarre. It started with Joe Lombardi saying that he would use Mike Williams like the Saints use Michael Thomas. Then to start the year, they did start the year using Mike Williams like the Saints use Michael Thomas. In the first three weeks of the season, Mike Williams had 12, 10, and 9 targets for 82, 91, and 122 air yards, which comes out to just over 10 targets per game at 7.67 air yards per target. Then, they mysteriously… stopped.
The Chargers started working him further downfield, and his air yards per target jumped up to 11.6 yards per target for the rest of the year. In the first three games—where the Chargers used him like Michael Thomas—Williams finished as WR14, WR10, and WR1, notching 22 receptions for 238 yards and four touchdowns. For the rest of the season, he had just three games inside the top-fifteen.
I feel bullish for Mike Williams’ 2022 prospects. He finished 2021 with 1,146 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns, which both rank top-twelve. But, it’s the numbers behind those numbers that give me encouragement: he ranked eighth with 23 red zone targets. Mike Williams is currently WR28 on Underdog, between Michael Pittman and Hollywood Brown. That’s a pretty good price if you need a boom-bust flex in two QB leagues or a boom-bust WR3.
With the Seattle Seahawks trading for Noah Fant and backing up a Brinks truck to Will Dissly’s house, Gerald Everett was the odd man out. With one year in the Pacific Northwest under his belt, Gerald Everett returned home to Los Angeles. After spending the first four years of his career with the L.A. Rams, he returns to Los Angeles with the Chargers. I have to say… I love this signing.
Everett didn’t post exciting numbers in his one year in Seattle, notching 48 receptions for 478 yards and four touchdowns on 63 targets. But Everett is an intriguing athletic weapon for the Chargers, who have had also-ran Jared Cook at tight end last year. Cook finished the year with 48 catches and 564 yards and four touchdowns, almost exactly Everett’s season… but he did it on 83 targets, 20 more than Everett last year. Everett’s targets came with half as many air yards as Cook’s, so that tells you that the final statistics don’t really tell the true story.
If you want a place for a breakout tight end, there aren’t many places you would place above the Chargers. They have two absolute stud weapons in Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler, and one of the best WR2s in the league with Mike Williams, and they still found space to throw the ball to the tight ends. The Chargers’ TEs had the ninth-most targets in the league in 2021, and Jared cook ran the ninth-most TE routes in the NFL last year and the fourth-most TE slot snaps. If you transfer his high-volume opportunity to Gerald Everett, who had a higher catch rate and air yards conversion rate in 2021, you have a great value on your hands as he is likely to go in the TE15 range.