LA Chargers News

Final Chargers 53-man roster projection

SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 30: Detrez Newsome #38 of the Los Angeles Chargers is tackled by Antone Exum #38 of the San Francisco 49ers during their preseason game at Levi's Stadium on August 30, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 30: Detrez Newsome #38 of the Los Angeles Chargers is tackled by Antone Exum #38 of the San Francisco 49ers during their preseason game at Levi's Stadium on August 30, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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DEFENSIVE LINE (9)

  • Joey Bosa
  • Melvin Ingram
  • Brandon Mebane
  • Darius Philon
  • Chris Landrum
  • Isaac Rochell
  • Damion Square
  • Justin Jones
  • Steven Richardson

ANALYSIS: Bosa has been dealing with a sprained ankle, but the future Defensive Player of the Year (?) will be ready for Week 1. Meanwhile, Bosa’s partner in crime, Melvin Ingram, has looked dominant. Landrum and Rochell were two players I was high on going into the preseason, and they didn’t disappoint.

However, the middle of the defensive line is mediocre at best. With Corey Liuget, who has slimmed down and played well during the preseason, suspended the first four games of the season, somebody needs to step up. Philon injured his hamstring in last week’s practice, but he should be good to go against the Chiefs. Square has seen more time with Jones, the Chargers’ 2018 third-round pick, dealing with injury. Richardson gets the last spot after standing out Thursday night. Overall, it’s a solid group of defensive linemen, but signing a player like DT Johnathan Hankins, who reportedly met with the Chargers, would be beneficial.

LINEBACKER (7)

  • Denzel Perryman
  • Uchenna Nwosu
  • Kyzir White
  • Jatavis Brown
  • Kyle Emanuel
  • Hayes Pullard
  • Nick Dzubnar

ANALYSIS: Definitely an improvement over last year’s group. Nwosu looks like the real deal, which you all already knew because you read this article a few months back. He should start next to Perryman at the SAM linebacker position. As for the WILL, I’m not sure who will get the start between Brown or White. The former does not look like the player he once was during his rookie year, and the latter is still learning the position.

Meanwhile, Pullard was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded defender for the Chargers during the preseason (prior to Week 4). Who saw that coming?

CORNERBACK (6)

  • Casey Hayward
  • Trevor Williams
  • Desmond King
  • Michael Davis
  • Craig Mager
  • Brandon Facyson

ANALYSIS: Like the wide receiver and defensive line position groups, cornerback is very good. I believe the Chargers keep six corners because of the bad luck that has occurred. Jason Verrett is out for the season after tearing his Achilles, and both Hayward and Williams have dealt with their share of injuries in August; they should be set to play against the Chiefs.

The team continues to have a thing for Mager, and Facyson gets the spot over Tony Brown, who could make the practice squad. If the Chargers claim a tight end, offensive tackle or defensive tackle, one of those two will likely get the boot.

SAFETY (4)

  • Jahleel Addae
  • Derwin James
  • Adrian Phillips
  • Rayshawn Jenkins

ANALYSIS: Can’t wait to see Derwin James take this defense to the next level.

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SPECIALIST (4)

  • Caleb Sturgis (K)
  • Roberto Aguayo (K)
  • Drew Kaser (P)
  • Mike Windt (LS)

ANALYSIS: My head hurts. I can’t figure out who is going to be the starting kicker. The Chargers signed Caleb Sturgis for more money, which made him the favorite for the job. But Aguayo, a former second-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, made more kicks during camp battles and did just as well in preseason games. He was given more opportunities to kick, including hitting the 26-yard game-winning field goal as time expired against the 49ers. Even though the game didn’t count, it felt good to see that happen after what we witnessed last year.

Aside from one missed kick by Sturgis, both guys made everything (field goals and PATs) during the preseason. I went with both for now, but perhaps one will get released when the Chargers add another player to the roster. Or, they could keep just one kicker and keep either Jackson or Cantrell.

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