LA Chargers News

Chargers’ eight most intriguing X-factor players in 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21: Uchenna Nwosu of Los Angeles Chargers is seen in the tunnel during the NFL International Series match between Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Chargers at Wembley Stadium on October 21, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 21: Uchenna Nwosu of Los Angeles Chargers is seen in the tunnel during the NFL International Series match between Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Chargers at Wembley Stadium on October 21, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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CARSON, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 22: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens is hit by Uchenna Nwosu #42 of the Los Angeles Chargers short of a first down during the first quarter at StubHub Center on December 22, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
CARSON, CALIFORNIA – DECEMBER 22: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens is hit by Uchenna Nwosu #42 of the Los Angeles Chargers short of a first down during the first quarter at StubHub Center on December 22, 2018 in Carson, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Forrest Lamp, OL

"He's the strongest offensive lineman on our football team."

— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) May 14, 2019

If there were ever an X-factor for the Chargers, it’s Forrest Lamp. Fans had high hopes of seeing the highly regarded 2017 second-round pick return to the field in 2018, but never were able to watch him play as more than a reserve guard.

So here the Chargers fans are a year later, wondering the same thing: Is Lamp in line for a starting role, finally? The team has stated that he will have every opportunity to compete for a role, and have been pushing the narrative of him finally cracking the starting lineup in 2019.

Not only is Lamp playing an X-factor this season, but if he does play, how does that affect the rest of the line? If he’s a guard, is he the right guard? Likely, but what if current starter Michael Schofield is playing well enough to remain at his spot? Does Lamp then take over for Dan Feeney, at left guard? What if Sam Tevi struggles? Can Lamp play right guard, and Schofield right tackle, or will they move Lamp to tackle and keep Schofield at guard?

Sounds like a headache.

Uchenna Nwosu, OLB

Uchenna Nwosu at SAM, Thomas Davis at WILL, Denzel Perryman at MIKE in base D.

— Eric Williams (@eric_d_williams) May 6, 2019

It’s almost as if the team drafted Nwosu knowing he had talent, but had no clue what to do with him for stretches. This is evident in his total snap count for 2019, in which the second-round rookie appeared in just 25.58 percent of the team’s defensive snaps. As PFF’s 35th-ranked edge defender, the former USC player racked up 3.5 regular season sacks, and had the game-clinching play of the Wild Card Round when he strip-sacked Lamar Jackson late in the fourth quarter.

It appears as if Nwosu is now the starting SAM linebacker in the base defense, indicating he may have a bigger role moving into 2019. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t end up like Jeremiah Attaochu, another second round draft pick with much potential that never really made an impact with the team once he was given more opportunity.

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