Projecting the Chargers 53-Man Roster
There are only a few short weeks left until training camp in San Diego. On July 30, the real practices will begin and coaches will start trimming the roster down to 53. I thought this would be a perfect time to predict who the Chargers will have on their roster come week one. There are a ton of things that can take place from now until September, but let’s have some fun with it.
I have the Chargers only keeping two quarterbacks because I don’t believe that Clemens brings anything to the table. Mettenberger will have to play better than he has early on in the offseason, but I don’t see why San Diego needs three quarterbacks with Rivers’ durability.
Running Backs (3)
Melvin Gordon needs to step up this year. He had a bad rookie season and the Chargers need him to be productive so Rivers can get some time in the pocket. Danny Woodhead should play a similar role catching passes on third down. Oliver missed most of 2015 with an injury and he will be looked upon to provide much needed depth. Chris Swain is a dark horse in this race as a short yardage back as well.
As long as Watt proves that he can be a good lead blocker for Gordon, the job should be his. Chris Swain also fits in this role too. I don’t think Swain is a good enough run blocker to overcome Watt, but it is a battle to keep an eye on in camp.
Tight Ends (3)
With the Chargers keeping a fullback on the roster I don’t see a point in keeping four tight ends. There isn’t much debate as of now who the three tight ends are going to be. Gates is an all-time great, Henry was a second-round pick and Cumberland was brought in during free agency for depth.
Wide Receivers (6)
The first four receiver spots on the roster are pretty much a lock. Tyrell Williams and Javontee Herndon will be fighting for the fifth spot but I think the Chargers should keep both of them on the roster. Both Williams and Herndon have unique skill sets and it would be hard to pick one of them. Bring them both on board and get deeper.
Offensive Line (9)
The Chargers finally added depth to their offensive line. With Matt Slauson starting at center, Chris Watt can move back to his natural position at guard. Chris Hairston will be slotted as the backup tackle and third-round pick Max Tuerk will be the backup center. The final spot on the offensive line will be a battle between Donavon Clark, Kenny Wiggins and Tyreek Burwell. It’s a toss up at this point but I’m going to go with Clark.
Defensive Line (6)
This is the best defensive line the Chargers have had in years. They aren’t deep, but the three headed monster of Bosa, Liuget and Mebane should really help the San Diego defense. One major thing to note, I don’t have Sean Lissemore making the final roster. This would be a bold move but Lissemore has been unimpressive so far in his 3 years with the Bolts and Ryan Carrethers was good in the limited snaps he received. Damion Square is also going to be battling against Tenny Palepoi who missed all of 2015 due to injury.
Inside Linebackers (5)
Perryman, Te’o and Perry are locks to make this team. I feel Brown is too, but Dzubnar is a very good special teamer and fought to make the team last year. I have the both making the team because there have been rumblings about Brown playing some safety as well. I like the idea of keeping five linebackers especially with the way the Chargers like to switch up personnel.
Outside Linebackers (4)
It was tough for me to only have four players here, but I need to see how Ben Gardner plays in the preseason. He was an addition from Dallas and he has impressed so far in his time with the Chargers. If he keeps up this level of play, the Chargers may be forced to put him on the team. For now, San Diego needs to hope for big production from Ingram and Attaochu in 2016.
After Steve Williams, the Chargers cornerback situation is hazy. Craig Mager was drafted in the third round last year, but he has not been good. Odds are he makes the team so that leaves one spot left. I like having the sixth corner especially in such a pass happy league. Richard Crawford and Greg Ducre are going to be battling for that sixth spot. I have Ducre making the team now, but that could easily change in a couple of weeks.