Defensive tackles: Brandon Mebane, Jerry Tillery
Is it too soon to put the rookie Tillery in the starting lineup? Perhaps. But because of the huge hole the team had on the interior of the defense, a future starter was needed in the draft. That future starter ended up being Tillery who will have the job as soon as he’s ready to. There’s no reason to believe that the future for him isn’t now.
Mebane will be the starter next to him at the defensive tackle spot, at least for now. The 34-year old was re-signed this offseason because of the veteran experience he brings. Being able to impart that knowledge onto a player like Tillery will be huge and the combination the Chargers now have between these two players in terms of speed, strength and experience makes this a formidable duo.
Defensive ends: Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram
No surprise here and this isn’t going to change. Bosa and Ingram, possibly the league’s top pass-rushing duo, are entrenched as starters at the defensive end position. If you’re looking for No.99 for the Chargers on the field this year, it won’t be Bosa. It was announced recently that he will wear No. 97 this year, the same number as his brother and the same number their father, John, wore during his playing career.
Last season, Bosa and Ingram combined for 12.5 sacks last season, but that was with Bosa playing in only seven games. If both can stay healthy this season, look for them to wreak havoc together.
Had this depth chart been made prior to the draft, the starters would not have looked nearly as strong. The addition of Tillery was huge and looking at the starters now, so long as Tillery pans out, there’s not a lot to complain about.