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Defensive Tackles (B-)

Signing Linval Joseph instantly upgraded the interior of this line, but there are still question marks. Primarily, who backs up Joseph? The hope is that Damian Square makes a return, as he has been a decent rotational player in the A gap. Justin Jones and Jerry Tillery will be in a very important camp battle this offseason. Both players improved as the year went on, but neither has really reached their full potential. The hope is to see massive improvement.

Defensive End (A-)

Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram make up one of the best tandems in the league. Bosa in particular is in consideration as a Defensive player of the Year hopeful, and will continue to be for the next 6 years or so. Ingram is getting older, but he is in a contract year and can still put up 10+ sacks a year. Uchenna Nwosu could end up being the Melvin Ingram replacement as soon as next year and offers flexibility as an off-the ball linebacker. Issac Rochell has defied the odds as a 7th-round pick and has experience starting in place of Ingram and Bosa when injured.

Linebacker (C+)

This group isn’t exactly strong, but it can surprise people. Denzel Perryman hasn’t been the player he was drafted to be, but the Bolts have given him every opportunity. Drue Tranquil is a great coverage linebacker and turned some heads as a 4th-round pick last year. Kyzir White hasn’t had the same opportunities as he did when he was named a starter his rookie season, which ended early due to injury. The Bolts signed Nick Vigil off the Bengals, and he also offers play in coverage. All 4 could see significant playing time and will all be in a camp battle for 2 primary starting spots. Lastly, Emeke Egbule will be a core special teamer.

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Cornerback (A)

What may be the strongest position group in the roster is the cornerback room. Casey Hayward has to be a top-5 corner in zone coverage. Signing Chris Harris Jr, who was previously a top-5 corner, is going to pay huge dividends to this squad. He can play in the slot or out wide. Michael Davis is a 2-year starter and offers tremendous value as a former UDFA. Desmond King looks to move into the Adrian Phillips role, but can still play in the slot if asked and pushing Harris out wide. Expect to see at least 3 corners on the field most of the season.

Safety (B+)

This is also a crowded room which is a good problem to have. Derwin James should return to his All-Pro self. A healthy Nasir Adderley, with a full camp under his belt,, could be the perfect compliment to James who should play in the box. Rayshawn Jenkins will push Adderley as the starter considering he started most of the season last year. Desmond King should find the field, though his role is questionable since we have never seen him deep in coverage. He has never covered deep third or deep half.

Kicker/Punter (B)

Michael Badgley did not kick for the Bolts for a good portion of the season last year, but the Chargers waited until he was ready rather then putting him on IR or releasing him. That shows the faith they have in the Money Badger. Ty Long was a nice surprise as the big leg punter. The Bolts look to have their Kicker and Punter issues figured out for what should be a long time. Cole Mazza also won the Long snapper spot in camp last season over long time Mike Wendt.

2 Comments

  1. I for one think that the LB’s grade should be C- or even a D. And we need more production from Bosa and Ingram this year. We will get better I think then we were last year if we can keep the interior DL playing at a higher level.

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    1. I actually like Drue Tranquil and Kyzir White as full time starters. Denzel Perryman has flashed, but has issues in coverage. Nick Vigil has some flashes too. The LB core should be upgraded from last year as we transition to more athletic coverage lineback with more help from the interior.

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