The Los Angeles Chargers have released their first 2018 unofficial depth chart.
The Chargers face off against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1 of the preseason. The Bolts just released their first unofficial depth chart, which somewhat gives us an idea of where certain players are at.
However, I look at this as a formality and not something anyone should get worked up over. Changes will be made.
That said, here it is:
#Chargers release their first unofficial depth chart …
Cardale Jones and Geno Smith are listed as co-backups behind Philip RiversDerwin James is listed as the backup safety behind Rayshawn JenkinsCaleb Sturgis is listed as the kicker ahead of Roberto Aguayo pic.twitter.com/u2Mew8ciNh
— Jack Wang (@thejackwang) August 7, 2018
A few things to talk about:
1) At quarterback, Cardale Jones, who the Chargers acquired via trade last season, and Geno Smith, who the Chargers signed in the offseason, are co-backups. We have finally moved on from the Kellen Clemens era, but nobody has claimed No. 2 status. The 27-year-old Smith has a lot more NFL experience than the 25-year-old Jones. Based on reports, both have had their ups and downs during training camp, so it’ll be interesting to see who gets the start Saturday in Arizona.
2) Even though 2017 first-round pick Mike Williams, who underwhelmed his rookie year, has reportedly looked like the Mike Williams we saw at Clemson, he’s not listed as a starter. It’s former undrafted free agent Tyrell Williams who is the starter opposite Keenan Allen. He’s having a good camp, too. Travis Benjamin appears to be fourth on the depth chart. Barring injury, this is unlikely to change heading into the season, with the exception of M. Williams becoming the actual No. 2 receiver on the team. There’s going to be a good battle between Dylan Cantrell, Artavis Scott and Geremy Davis for another spot or two. Cantrell and Scott have garnered a lot of attention since camp started, but Cantrell is currently sidelined with an injury. I’m also curious to see if Scott will get more opportunities to return punts/kicks; he’s behind Desmond King as the second option for returning punts. Overall, this is by far the deepest position on the roster.
3) Let’s see how Virgil Green, Braedon Bowman and Sean Culkin perform in the preseason, but the Chargers need to add another tight end. It appears to be the weakest part on the roster.
4) Michael Schofield is filling in at right guard for Forrest Lamp, who has yet to practice with his teammates. When Lamp returns, Schofield will likely be the team’s swing tackle with the ability to move around if needed. They have promising 2017 sixth-rounder Sam Tevi at tackle, but the depth at the tackle position is decent at best. Like Schofield, 2018 fifth-rounder Scott Quessenberry has the versatility to play multiple positions. He’s already behind starting left guard Dan Feeney on the depth chart, and he could slide over to center if Mike Pouncey or Spencer Pulley get hurt. I like this group of guys, but let’s hope all the starters stay healthy.
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5) It’s the same starting four on the defensive line like we saw last year. Corey Liuget will miss the first four games after being suspended, so Darius Philon will likely be the starting 3-tech next to Brandon Mebane. Third-round rookie defensive tackle Justin Jones is third on the depth chart, but he has reportedly looked good up until hurting his ankle. Isaac Rochell and Chris Landrum, who are backups on the edge, have also looked good.
6) Denzel Perryman is the starting MIKE. Behind him is Hayes Pullard, so let’s hope Perryman will be healthy all season long. The Chargers needed more depth at linebacker, and they accomplished that goal by selecting Uchenna Nwosu and Kyzir White in the second and fourth round, respectively. They are taking a backseat to veterans Kyle Emanuel and Jatavis Brown, but they are reportedly looking good at camp. Actually, both White and Brown have generated a ton of buzz. The battle for both outside linebacker spots are going to be exciting to watch as we enter preseason play.
7) Derwin James, who was dealing with a minor hamstring injury early on, isn’t starting at safety, which means no rookies have claimed a starting position. I have a hunch that is going to change. That said, 2017 fourth-rounder Rayshawn Jenkins has reportedly shined during camp. Let’s see how he looks during the game.
8) Caleb Sturgis is the starter at kicker over Roberto Aguayo. Aguayo, however, has reportedly kicked better during camp battles. Let’s see how he fares against the opponent, which, as we all know, hasn’t been kind to him.
9) Like I mentioned above, King is the team’s punt returner and Benjamin is the kick returner. The Chargers need better play on special teams, so may the best man win (for two positions).
10) Can the Chargers PLEASE stay healthy? Tight end Hunter Henry (torn ACL) and cornerback Jason Verrett (torn Achilles) are already out for the year. DE Joey Bosa and CB Trevor Williams suffered ankle injuries, but they are reportedly fine. Rookies Jones and Cantrell are banged up Football Gods, give us break!