Can Josh Palmer Make an Instant Impact for the Chargers?

Palmer was a bit of a surprising pick at 77th overall. What can he do for Justin Herbert and the Chargers' offense?

Josh Palmer was listed at 135th overall on NFL Mock Draft Database's consensus big board entering the 2021 NFL Draft, but the Los Angeles Chargers went out and got the Tennessee Volunteers' wide receiver with the 77th pick.

He is 6'1" and 210 pounds, a typically enviable size profile for wide receivers in the NFL -- at least a few years ago.

What did the Chargers see in Palmer's profile?

Player Comparisons

Brandon Gdula's draft database has found these 10 prior prospects to have the most similar statistical profiles to Palmer. Keep in mind that these are based not on play style or traits but age, athleticism, draft equity, experience, efficiency, and production.

Josh Palmer Profile ComparisonsSimilarity
Chris Conley94.6%
Austin Pettis91.0%
Tandon Doss88.8%
Donovan Peoples-Jones88.6%
Van Jefferson88.6%
Amara Darboh88.2%
Cordarrelle Patterson87.8%
Deon Cain87.3%
Chris Moore87.2%
Toney Clemons87.2%

Gdula's Take: Chris Conley is my all-time favorite football player, but his profile is just like Palmer's: good size and athleticism (though Palmer is more average) and a third-round draft equity. However, that's paired with 20th-percentile receiving market shares in college and bottom-15 percentile receiving efficiency, as well.

Palmer's 2021 Fantasy Football Projection

JJ Zachariason's initial projections for Palmer include 31 receptions, 357 yards, and 2.4 touchdowns, making him the WR94 for the season.

Palmer will have to contend with some high-volume pass-catchers in Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and tight end Jared Cook. And Austin Ekeler is an excellent receiver out of the backfield, too. That helps explain the low rookie-year projection, and the spotty profile doesn't help matters.

On FanDuel Sportsbook, the Chargers are listed at +3100 to win the Super Bowl and +600 to take the AFC West, and they have a win total projection of 9.5 -- with -143 odds on the under -- on FOX Bet.