LA Chargers News

Chargers rookies who could be starters for 2019 season opener

CARSON, CA - AUGUST 18: Jerry Tillery #99 of the Los Angeles Chargers sacks quarterback Taysom Hill #7 of the New Orleans Saints during the first half of their pre seaon football game at Dignity Health Sports Park on August 18, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
CARSON, CA - AUGUST 18: Jerry Tillery #99 of the Los Angeles Chargers sacks quarterback Taysom Hill #7 of the New Orleans Saints during the first half of their pre seaon football game at Dignity Health Sports Park on August 18, 2019 in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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GLENDALE, ARIZONA – AUGUST 08: Linebacker Drue Tranquill #49 of the Los Angeles Chargers intercepts a pass ahead of tight end Darrell Daniels #81 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL preseason game at State Farm Stadium on August 08, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Chargers 17-13. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – AUGUST 08: Linebacker Drue Tranquill #49 of the Los Angeles Chargers intercepts a pass ahead of tight end Darrell Daniels #81 of the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL preseason game at State Farm Stadium on August 08, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Chargers 17-13. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Chargers Week One potential starter: Drue Tranquill

No Chargers rookie has looked better; actually, it’s possible no Chargers player has looked better than Tranquill has this preseason.

No. 49 leads the defense in combined tackles with 15 (four more than the next player) and has logged both a pass defense and an interception while in coverage. When he hits, he hits hard.

More than a hammer on defense, Tranquill looks much more fluid and comfortable chasing the ball carrier. With a game to go (and logging an impressive nine total tackles against the Seahawks) Tranquill already has more combined tackles than any Chargers player has had in the preseason since 2016.

Still, he’s got both Kyzir White and Denzel Perryman in front of him, with White in particular being his closest competition due to versatility and similar size. It’s probably more wishful thinking than anything, and maybe Tranquill truly has no chance of starting the regular season opener. But given his performance, and the rave reviews from coaches and the media alike, it’s hard not to assume he has a slight chance.

Next. Chargers who could be cut with poor performances Thursday

Though Pipkins, Tillery, and Tranquill have a chance to start, No. 99 is really the only one who should be expected to be a part of the starting unit. Even then, he may just be a co-starter alongside Jones.

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