Chargers have Two Towers with Jackson addition

The 2004 season was the year of Antonio Gates. The San Diego Chargers selection of Vincent Jackson in the third round could bring about the debut of the Twin Towers. With Gates at 6-foot-4 and Jackson at 6-foot-5, the match ups created could be havoc.

Thinking big has been the motto in recent years. They have routinely brought in receivers who are 6-foot-2 or taller from the ranks of the undrafted. Saturday was the first time they actually picked one of those players and Vincent Jackson is viewed as a player that can pay immediate dividends, particularly in the red zone.

"As you know, we like those big receivers and he certainly fits the mold," head coach Marty Schottenheimer said.

While Antonio Gates was breaking records with 13 touchdown receptions, Vincent Jackson holds his own records in that category. He shattered most of Northern Colorado's receiving records, including his 21 touchdown season in 2003. He added another 11 scores as a senior and proved to be virtually unstoppable.

"There's a new breed of wide receivers, big and fast and can catch," Jackson said. "I think it is a definite advantage and the bigger receivers are really starting catch on in the NFL. I think I'm a great athlete with great body control for a guy my size."

After the season, Jackson, who became the Northern Colorado's highest drafted player in school history, went on to play in the Senior Bowl, where the Bolts first showed interest.

"I think Vincent Jackson will raise some eyebrows," Jon Gruden, coach of the South Squad at the Senior Bowl, told "A lot of people say he may be a tight end but I think he is going to have a great future at wide receiver. He is a great athlete, catches the ball very well and catches it with his hands, not his body."

Those who have said he doesn't have speed may want to check the official combine numbers. At 241 pounds, Jackson ran his forties in 4.51 and 4.52, timing better than several prospect taken before him, including Mike Williams.

Others have suggested that Jackson should move to tight end, but the Chargers have no plans to make such a move, even if the former Northern Colorado star is willing.

"I've been a wide receiver my whole career," Jackson explained. "I've never put my hand down on the ground, whatever they want me to do – special teams, whatever."

Jackson does have experience in the return game. He has returned punts and kickoffs during his college career but that was just an added bonus according to the Chargers staff.

The main reason for selecting him in the second round, 61st overall, was his talent at receiver. He is an instant mismatch for opposing quarterbacks and will be another threat in Schottenheimer's Gold Zone.

That would free up Gates from the constant double teaming and give quarterback Drew Brees another option in the post. Toss it up high and one of the Twin Towers will surely come down with it.

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