Chargers beneficiaries: Defensive end
Resting: DE Joey Bosa and DE Melvin Ingram
Benefits: DE Isaac Rochell
Isaac Rochell has proved to be exactly what coaches want from a late-round selection: He’s developed, he’s seen the field, and he’s even produced. Last season was a career-best year for the former seventh-round selection, notching 3.5 sacks and 29 tackles in limited action. He’s never going to be a one-for-one replacement for Joey Bosa, but as a spot-starter and someone who rotates on the defensive line, he’s been solid.
With Ingram and Bosa likely to sit (particularly the latter), Rochell could dominate snaps this offseason. There are no known commodities behind Rochell to compete with him. In a contract year, the former Notre Dame product could stand to grow and earn an extension with the organization.
All 15 players mentioned could benefit from veterans being rested ahead of them. Without depth, this team doesn’t advance in the playoffs; just look at last year in the Divisional Round. The young men on the roster are here to carry the franchise forward. One final thought: If the young rookies, second-year, even third-year players demonstrate they could develop into better starters than the veterans ahead of them, it could help the Chargers keep their cap spending to a minimum. If Pipkins can play, why extend an aging Okung in two years? If a receiver, say Davis, explodes in the offseason and carries it into the regular season, why pay Travis Benjamin for another year? Resting the veterans is a smart option for preserving their health, but may have the ripple effect of helping the Chargers maintain a healthy cap number.