With Philip Rivers officially signing with the Indianapolis Colts and Tom Brady choosing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Chargers are currently left with Tyrod Taylor and Easton Stick on the roster. Brady choosing the Buccaneers over the Chargers created the financial opportunity for the Chargers to go get key players at other positions. It is very likely that Tyrod is the starting quarterback come next season, but it is also incredibly likely that a signal caller is taken early in the draft. Tyrod should be a capable starter that won’t lose games, but he isn’t going to wow anyone with his arm. We don’t know how well the Chargers believe in Easton Stick as a back up. Also, did you see Tua Tagovailoa moving around in position drills? That is great to see!
Running Backs (B)
Melvin Gordon is now a Denver Bronco and Derek Watt is a Pittsburgh Steeler. I had come to terms with Gordon leaving awhile ago, but Watt stung especially deep, particularly for his special teams play. Even so, the Chargers did re-sign Austin Ekeler to a 4-year deal and he looks to be the lead back. The team also has Justin Jackson who should see increased playing time. A third option needs to be on the roster with a longer season upcoming. Depth is the key issue here. There are still some intriguing options available if the Chargers wanted a veteran. Devonte Freeman is still floating around, as is Carlos Hyde and Lamar Miller. If not, look for the Chargers to find a back in the mid-to-late rounds. They may not see a fullback as a needed position on the roster. Lack of depth and weight bring this position group down.
Wide Receiver (B)
Keenan Allen is the star of the show. He is at least a top-10 player at his position and runs the smoothest routes in the league. Mike Williams has shown flashes of play making ability, but has been limited as a jump ball specialist. He is still growing into his route running skills and leaves a lot to be desired there. There really isn’t anyone behind them. Is Andre Patton or Jason Moore the answer? Probably not! The team will likely address the need in the 2nd to 4th round of the draft. Maybe another in the late rounds as well. There isn’t really a burner on the offensive side of the ball either. They could even opt to bring in a veteran still on a really cheap prove it contract.
Tight End (B)
Hunter Henry is back on the franchise tag, and if he can stay healthy, he could lead the league in reception yards next season. I can understand why the Chargers could opt to wait to pay him, but finding above average tight ends who can run routes and catch the ball are rare to find. It is even rarer if they can also hold their own in the run game. Behind Henry is Virgil Green who is used primarily as a run blocker. The team could bring back Sean Culkin who is recovering from a knee injury. Andrew Vollert also had some buzz surrounding him in training camp last season. This isn’t a big position of need right now, but the team is one Henry injury away from a similar issue to 2018. They could look to the draft once again.
Offensive Tackle(LT C- | RT B+)
The team massively upgraded the right side of the line with Bryan Bulaga and the team will allow Sam Tevi to play back up. On the left side of the line, Trey Pipkins and Trent Scott should be in a camp battle for a starting position. Many fans want to see another tackle drafted early, but I am not so sure the staff plans on doing so. Pipkins was drafted to eventually become the left tackle, and drafting another one would mean moving on from Pipkins entirely too soon. The fact that the Chargers tendered Scott means they saw enough to give him another opportunity. It just seems like the Chargers are content with the 4 tackles on the roster, There is a rumor floating around that there is some interest in Jason Peters. The 38-year-old would help Pipkins develop more and could be a potential place holder, but don’t be surprised if the Chargers do not draft a single tackle next year.
Offensive Guard/ Center(LG C+)(RG B+) (Center B-)
Tom Telesco upgraded the interior of the line by trading Russell Okung for Trai Turner. Turner is just now entering the prime of his career and is a 5-time pro bowler at 26-years-old. On the left side, Dan Feeney and Forrest Lamp will be in a camp battle for a starting position. Dan Feeney also provides some position flexibility as he can also play Center. Both Feeney and Lamp are in a contract year and both players have a lot to play for if they are looking to cash in or receive another contract. Mike Pouncey is recovering from neck surgery and the fact that the Chargers didn’t cut him means they expect him to be ready by the start of the season. If he is not, Scott Quessenberry looks to take the starting spot that he held for the majority of the year last year. There could be a late round draft pick here as the team could be hurting for depth, especially if Pouncey is not healed from injury.