Will local receiver land with the Chargers?

Even before the kickoff of the Combine, the Chargers had done their homework. After initially meeting with this wide receiver at the Senior Bowl, the Bolts sat back to evaluate his performance once again in Indy. Although the Bolts are already deep at receiver, A.J. Smith has confirmed the team could address the position again in the draft.

Prior to finishing the Senior Bowl game with three catches for a game-high 63 yards, including a 36-yard TD, the Bolts pulled Lavelle Hawkins of University of California aside for a meeting in Mobile, Ala. Measuring 5'11" and 187 pounds at the NFL Combine, Hawkins knew the importance of bringing his ‘A' game to each event.

"This is a good opportunity to come out here and perform for the scouts and prove that I can play with the best," he said.

The Golden Bear closed his college career with a first-rate senior year, only urging the Bolts to keep a close eye on him.

Entering his 2007 senior season, Hawkins was rated the No. 1 receiver in the country by ESPN. He wound up earning second team All-Pac 10 honors, leading Cal with 72 catches--the fourth best in Cal history--for 872 receiving yards and six TDs.

Hawkins is a multi-dimensional player. In 2007, he rushed seven times for 60 yards and returned 42 kickoffs for a school-record 922 yards. He finished fourth in the conference with 1,854 all-purpose yards, the third-best season total in school history.

Although his 40 time (4.56) needs improvement, Hawkins plays faster than his timed speed.

"He's made some big plays downfield on the ball and has shown himself as a true speed receiver who can get downfield and run by guys," said Oakland Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin, who coached Hawkins at the Senior Bowl.

Hawkins has excellent hands and solid footwork that allows him to track down deep passes. He knows intense work is needed to maintain that success at the next level.

"I think I need to work on every aspect of my game at the next level, from my catching, my mental game and my speed."

Qualcomm Stadium's resident starting receivers, Vincent Jackson and Chris Chambers, are a reliable and aggressive force on the field. But with Eric Parker battling back from a toe injury and Buster Davis limited to 20 catches as a rookie, the Bolts hope to ensure reliable and forceful backup.

Hawkins' stellar hand-eye coordination and body control could surely be utilized in San Diego.

"I'm a hard-nosed player and am going to be there with the team all year round," he said.

The Bolts need steadfast depth to help them be a contender in the playoffs. Grabbing Hawkins will help lay the foundation.

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