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By: Michael Peterson
Can Guyton retain his workload for another season?
Coming out of Allen High School as a four-star recruit, Guyton initially committed to Notre Dame where he redshirted his only year on campus. He was dismissed for an “undisclosed reason” and promptly transferred away from South Bend.
Guyton ended up at North Texas where he had to sit out the 2016 season due to NCAA transfer guidelines. During his first year of action for the Mean Green, Guyton was named a Second-Team All-CUSA honoree after catching 49 passes for 775 yards and nine touchdowns. As a junior in 2018, Guyton improved on most of his stats by collecting 54 catches for 805 yards and six touchdowns.
Although he had one more year of eligibility left, Guyton decided to forgo that and enter into the 2019 NFL Draft. At the school’s pro day, he was reportedly timed at 4.37 and 4.42 in the forty. Both would have been top-3 marks among receivers at that year’s NFL combine. He also jumped 37.5 inches in the vertical, 10’5 in the broad jump, and put up 13 reps on the bench press.
Guyton was signed by the Chargers on October 23 of 2019 before being promoted to the active roster on November 30. He spent the 2019 preseason with the Dallas Cowboys before being one of the final cuts on August 30.
In his second year with the Bolts, Guyton earned a starting job in three wide-receiver sets alongside Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. He finished the year with 28 receptions for 511 yards and three touchdowns.
Jalen Guyton’s route had the DB on skates ⛸
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 18, 2020
College: North Texas
Years with team: 2
“Jalen Guyton signed a 2 year, $1,080,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $540,000. In 2021, Guyton will earn a base salary of $850,000, while carrying a cap hit of $850,000.” – Spotrac.com
Guyton was a refreshing surprise last season as a former undrafted wide receiver that brought elite speed to the team while also possessing decent size for the position. That speed was on display against the Bucs in week four when Guyton took the top off of the defense with a 72-yard touchdown. He finished the season with an 18.3 yards per reception average which would have placed him well within the top-10 players in the metric with at least 20 catches on the season.
HOLY CHARGERS ⚡️
Justin Herbert drops in a DIME to Jalen Guyton for a long TD
(via @Chargers) pic.twitter.com/wHOwaKNVv8
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) October 4, 2020
Guyton ran a limited route tree in 2020 but it remains to be seen if that was simply due to the role he was asked to play or if he truly isn’t as well-rounded as we’d like. In the team’s final game of the season, Guyton dropped a deep pass from Justin Herbert that may have been the difference in allowing his quarterback to break Andrew Luck’s rookie record for single-season passing yards. On the year, he dropped five of the 55 targets thrown his way, giving him a drop percentage of just under 10 percent.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2021?
I believe Guyton is a lock to make the final roster but he may end up further down the depth chart than you’d expect. In 2020, he was the clear number three wideout on the team. However, after the late blooming of Tyron Johnson and the already-clear talent of Josh Palmer, Guyton could very well end up as the team’s fifth receiver on the depth chart. If I had to predict his role, I’d say he’ll rotate in with Johnson as the team’s primary deep threat but I don’t see much more than that. T-Billy is a bit more well-rounded while Palmer has also shown success at all three levels. Guyton will need to round-out his game this offseason if he hopes to have anywhere near the role he did in 2020 once again.