The Chargers have solidified most of the starting units of their offense and defense, but will any rookies make a start Week One?
Though the Chargers have set their starters at nearly every position, there are opportunities for rookies from this draft class to have a starting role in the season opener. Which rookies have a chance to face the Indianapolis Colts as a Week One starter?
As a recap, their 2019 draft class is as follows:
- Jerry Tillery
- Nasir Adderley
- Trey Pipkins
- Drue Tranquill
- Easton Stick
- Emeke Egbule
- Cortez Broughton
This article will focus on those who will start on offense and defense, not special teams. Here’s how the rookie draft class may shake out Week One:
Chargers Week One potential starter: Trey Pipkins
Don’t shoot the messenger, because this possibility originated from the head coach himself:
Anthony Lynn said he still hasn’t settled on a starting group of five offensive linemen. Trey Pipkins is still in the mix at both tackle spots. Dan Feeney and Forrest Lamp are still competing at LG. #Chargers
— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) August 26, 2019
Any fan would have loved for a third-round pick to come in and beat out someone like Sam Tevi at right tackle, or become a legitimate backup of Russell Okung at left tackle. So far, Trey Pipkins has done neither, as far as his three preseason games have shown.
It’s not to say the rookie hasn’t improved; against the Seahawks, Pipkins played easily his best game of the preseason, blocking for a quarterback who almost ended three straight drives with a touchdown.
Then again, Seahawks players in the fourth quarter of a preseason game aren’t exactly Justin Houston and Jabaal Sheard, who will start at defensive end for the Colts. Is Lynn actually serious about letting a mostly-struggling rookie block at either tackle spot for Philip Rivers? If he is, then Pipkins does have a chance of being a Week One starter.