The Chargers have a tough decision to make, and must determine whether Chris Peace or Anthony Lanier make the initial 53-man roster.
The Chargers were set to feature a few position battles this preseason, with punter, corner, free safety, fourth wide receiver, and offensive guard the most popular. Each has carried story lines through three preseason games thus far, though some battles now feel more like outright wins by one player.
But did anyone see a competition for the fourth defensive end spot?
Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, and Isaac Rochell were locks to make the roster, and have been with the team for several years. This season, two men look to take the fourth and likely final spot at defensive end: Chris Peace and Anthony Lanier. And both, so far, are deserving of the job.
The stats (2019 preseason):
- Peace: Five combined tackles, two sacks
- Lanier: 11 combined tackles, one sack (two-point conversion)
NOT TODAY. pic.twitter.com/EOAfuC9ADA
— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) August 18, 2019
- Lanier: 6’6″, 285. 26 years old.
- Peace: 6’2″, 238. 23 years old.
Lanier is more of a traditional defensive end, and a massive one at that. Bosa is a big guy, but Lanier by comparison is an inch taller and five pounds heavier. Peace is more of a OLB/DE hybrid, which either gives him the edge due to versatility or makes him the odd-man out because he isn’t strictly one type of player. It all depends on what the Chargers are looking for.
So who makes the team? In the end, it truly depends on how both play Thursday against the San Francisco 49ers. But if forced to choose someone right now, Lanier may get my vote. Peace is young and has time to develop as a member of the practice squad, whereas Lanier is entering his fourth year in the league. Though it hasn’t been productive, Lanier’s time in the NFL may give him greater success over the entire run of the season, and the Chargers seem to favor veteran talent right now. Both have been explosive through more than one game thus far, and now it’s up to one of them to step up and make Tom Telesco’s decision a bit easier.