Some of the improved groups from final season, the Los Angeles Chargers’ depth chart noticed vital upgrades at a number of essential positions throughout free company. With a date in Cleveland on the horizon, the Chargers are in a incredible place as they head into the 2021 NFL Draft.
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Los Angeles Chargers Depth Chart
Quarterback: Justin Herbert, Chase Daniel, Easton Stick
Working Again: Austin Ekeler, Joshua Kelley, Darius Bradwell, Justin Jackson
Extensive Receiver: Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Jalen Guyton, Tyron Johnson, Ok.J. Hill, Joe Reed, Jason Moore, John Hurst
Tight Finish: Jared Cook dinner, Donald Parham, Stephen Anderson, Matt Sokol
Offensive Deal with: Bryan Bulaga, Trey Pipkins
Offensive Guard: Matt Feiler, Oday Aboushi, Nate Gilliam, Storm Norton, Tyree St. Louis
Heart: Corey Linsley, Scott Quessenberry
Inside Defensive Line: Linval Joseph, Jerry Tillery, Justin Jones, T.J. Smith
EDGE: Joey Bosa, Joe Gaziano, Breiden Fehoko
Linebacker: Kenneth Murray, Kyzir White, Uchenna Nwosu, Drue Tranquill, Emeke Egbule, Kyler Fackrell, Cole Christiansen
Cornerback: Chris Harris, Michael Davis, Tevaughn Campbell, Donte Vaughn, Brandon Facyson, John Brannon, Ryan Smith
Security: Derwin James, Nasir Adderley, Alohi Gilman
Kicker: Mike Badgley
Punter: Ty Lengthy
Lengthy Snapper: Cole Mazza
Chargers Depth Chart Evaluation | Offense
Whereas his profession began underneath essentially the most uncommon of circumstances, there may be one factor that’s sure — the Chargers have a celebrity within the making with Justin Herbert. As a rookie, Herbert lit the NFL on fireplace.
Herbert set new benchmarks for rookies with essentially the most passing touchdowns (31), whole touchdowns (36), completions (396), 300-yard video games (8), and video games with a number of passing touchdowns (10) in NFL historical past.
Following Tyrod Taylor’s departure in free company, the Chargers signed Chase Daniels to bolster their depth chart. Daniels, 34, has made 5 begins over his profession, throwing 8 touchdowns and seven interceptions on 261 profession makes an attempt.
Though his season was shortened as a consequence of a extreme hamstring harm, Austin Ekeler was one of many NFL’s greatest when on the sector. Ekeler averaged 4.6 yards per carry en path to 530 yards on the bottom because the lead again. He additionally caught 54 of 66 targets for 403 yards and scored 3 whole touchdowns in his 10 appearances. Ekeler might be in line for career-high touches this season because the unquestioned chief of the backfield.
With Ekeler out of the lineup, the Chargers deployed a number of working backs to fill the void. Considered one of which was Justin Jackson, who set a brand new career-high in carries (59) and yards (270) however failed to seek out the tip zone. He’ll enter camp able battle with Joshua Kelley for the RB2 position on the Chargers’ depth chart following Kallen Ballage’s signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Kelley began 2020 as a complement to Ekeler. He noticed 47 touches in his first three video games however noticed his work dwindle due to Ballage and Jackson. A wholesome scratch in two of the ultimate 4 video games, Kelley ended the season with 502 whole yards and a pair of touchdowns in 11 video games.
Regardless of high-level manufacturing yr after yr, Keenan Allen someway doesn’t get the credit score he deserves. Herbert’s favourite goal, Allen appeared in 14 video games, catching 100 passes (147 targets) for 992 yards and eight touchdowns. He got here up simply 8 yards wanting his fourth-straight 1,000-yard season, a streak we must always see returning in 2021.
When accessible, Mike Williams is usually a devastating possibility on Los Angeles’ offense. A deep-play specialist and red-zone risk, the one factor holding Williams again are accidents. Though he solely missed one recreation, Williams was banged up all season, together with a sprained AC joint suffered on the finish of camp that was initially reported to require a three-to-four-week restoration. Nonetheless, Williams recorded his third-straight 40-plus reception season (48) with 756 yards and 5 touchdowns. Count on Williams to place all of it collectively in 2021 after a whole offseason with Herbert.
WR3 on the Chargers’ depth chart is an fascinating spot and can assuredly be a speaking level over the offseason. Presently, Jaylen Guyton is penciled in to fill the position as a third-year professional. Guyton completed the yr sturdy with 28 receptions for 511 yards and three touchdowns throughout 16 video games.
Whereas by no means taking part in on greater than 80% of the offensive snaps, Tyron Johnson loved a profitable second season. In 12 video games, Johnson corralled 20 receptions for 398 yards and three touchdowns.
Though the Chargers noticed vital additions to their depth chart, they had been hit by a large loss in TE Hunter Henry, who signed with the Patriots. To replenish the expertise on the place, the Chargers signed veteran Jared Cook dinner. On a one-year deal price as much as $6 million, Cook dinner continues to be one of many higher tight ends regardless of being 34 years outdated. Since 2011, Cook dinner has generated over 500 yards in eight seasons whereas scoring 40 touchdowns.
Positive, you may train fundamentals and schemes, however you may’t train 6’8″. The previous XFL standout Donald Parham ended his first season within the NFL with 10 receptions for 159 yards and three touchdowns. Given the tight finish place is arguably probably the most tough to study, Parham may see an elevated position subsequent season as he turns into extra conversant in the offense.
Offensive Deal with
If the Chargers have a gap on their depth chart, it’s at offensive sort out.
Bryan Bulaga is satisfactory when on the sector, however that was additionally the difficulty in 2020. Knee, again, and foot accidents, together with an sickness, shortened Bulaga’s first season in Los Angeles. He began 10 video games final yr however failed to complete 5 of these outings. He nonetheless has two extra years remaining on a three-year, $30 million contract.
Trey Pipkins has made 26 appearances at sort out over his two-year profession with the Chargers, making eight begins. His 49% snap share in 2020 greater than doubled his rookie whole. If the Chargers handle the place within the NFL Draft, Pipkins will transfer again right into a rotational position.
Addressing the offensive line was a spotlight of the Chargers offseason, and one of many vital strikes was the addition of Matt Feiler. He spent final season taking part in guard, however most of his profession has been at sort out. Relying on how the draft falls, Feiler may slide again out and provides versatility to the offensive line as harm safety.
Moreover, the Chargers signed Oday Aboushi, who will compete for a beginning spot on the inside. Aboushi began in eight video games final season for the Lions whereas taking part in on 59% of the snaps — essentially the most since 2014.
Earlier than becoming a member of the Chargers in October of 2019, Tyree St. Louis frolicked on the follow squad with the Patriots and Colts. The Chargers positioned an unique rights tag on him in the course of the offseason to retain him.
Offensive line additions hold coming, as defending Herbert is a precedence. Agreeing to a five-year, $62.5 million contract, Corey Linsley leaves the frozen tundra of Lambeau for sunny SoCal. Now the highest-paid middle within the league, Linsley cashed in after incomes first-team All-Professional honors in 2020.
Scott Quessenberry can play each middle and guard for the Chargers and noticed a big snap proportion in 2019 when filling in for the retired Mike Pouncey.
Chargers Evaluation | Protection
Inside Defensive Line
In his first season with the Chargers, Linval Joseph recorded 62 tackles, his most since 2017. Nevertheless, he didn’t report a sack for the primary time since his rookie marketing campaign in 2010.
Jerry Tillery frolicked on the inside of the defensive position however moved to the sting as a consequence of accidents alongside the entrance. In 11 begins, he recorded 3 tackles for a loss and three sacks, each career-highs.
A former third-round choose, Justin Jones began 12 video games this previous season, tying his career-high from 2019. Totaling 34 tackles, Jones recorded his first profession sack towards the Falcons in Week 13.
Breiden Fehoko rapidly grew to become a fan favourite due to his time on HBO’s Laborious Knocks. Lively for 2 video games, he performed on simply 19 defensive snaps.
T.J. Smith spent the complete 2020 season on the Chargers’ follow squad.
Joey Bosa is a monster on the sector and a significant thorn within the facet of opposing groups. Bosa performed in 12 video games however missed the ultimate two whereas coping with a concussion. He recorded 39 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 27 QB hits, and 1 cross deflection.
Jessie Lemonier was energetic for six video games in 2020 and recorded 2 tackles and a pair of QB hits.
A rookie in 2020, Joe Gaziano recorded the primary and solely sort out of his profession in Week 2 however was inactive from Week 4 by way of the remainder of the season.
Enjoying in all 16 video games final season as a rookie, Kenneth Murray led the Chargers’ depth chart in tackles with 107. He additionally recorded 5 tackles for a loss, 3 passes deflections, and 1 sack. Murray underwent surgical procedure to deal with a proper shoulder harm, however the expectation is that he’ll be able to go for coaching camp, if not OTAs.
Kyzir White began a career-high 10 video games in 2020, matching his earlier whole during the last two seasons mixed. He set new career-high marks throughout the board, together with tackles (77), tackles for a loss (4), and passes defensed (3). He ended the season on the IR as a consequence of a hamstring harm.
After a profitable rookie marketing campaign, the Chargers hoped that Drue Tranquill may construct off his success and be a mainstay of the depth chart. As an alternative, his season was over earlier than it even started after struggling a damaged ankle of their season opener.
If you happen to haven’t observed but, the Chargers’ linebackers couldn’t keep wholesome in 2020, and Uchenna Nwosu isn’t any exception. Suiting up 13 occasions final yr, Nwosu established new career-highs in tackles (33), QB hits (11), sacks (4.5), and passes defensed (2). He ended the season on IR as a consequence of a knee harm, although the Chargers being eradicated from the playoffs possible expedited this determination.
Kyler Fackrell landed with the Chargers throughout free company after spending the earlier 5 years with the Packers and Giants. Fackrell totaled 4 sacks for New York final season together with 10 QB hits, 7 tackles for a loss, 2 passes defensed, and an interception which he returned for a 46-yard landing.
After releasing Casey Hayward, the Chargers couldn’t afford to lose two cornerbacks from their depth chart in free company. The Chargers re-signed Michael Davis to a three-year cope with $15 million assured. In 14 begins, Davis produced a profession yr final season. He set new highs in tackles (64), passes defensed (14), and interceptions (3), alongside along with his first profession pick-six.
Chris Harris struggled in his first yr with the Chargers. For the second time previously three seasons, Harris didn’t play a whole 16-game marketing campaign after lacking only one recreation by way of the primary seven years of his profession. Harris did play higher in Week 12 and past after coming off a multi-month IR stint. The Chargers hope he can bounce again, however perimeter assist can be a necessity in the course of the NFL Draft.
Making 13 appearances, Tevaughn Campbell accrued 22 tackles (16 solo), 3 passes defensed, a fumble, and a pick-six. As a result of an arm harm suffered within the season finale, he’s questionable for the beginning of camp.
Primarily a special-teams contributor, Brandon Facyson re-signed with the Chargers after taking part in on 281 of his 330 snaps on particular groups throughout 2020.
Derwin James missed the whole thing of the 2020 season as a consequence of a torn meniscus he suffered throughout coaching camp. Hopefully, after lacking 27 video games over the previous two seasons, James can lastly keep on the sector and choose up the place he left off after being named a first-team All-Professional as a rookie in 2018.
Taking on a extra outstanding position following James’ harm, Nasir Adderley outplayed expectations in 2020. He completed with 69 tackles, 1 interception, 3 passes defensed, and even added 318 kick return yards.
Alohi Gilman was the Chargers’ sixth-round pick of Notre Dame final season and spent most of his time on particular groups. Gilman didn’t see a lot of the sector on protection till later within the season however recorded a pair of tackles in his lone begin in the course of the crew’s Week 17 victory over the Chiefs.
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