LA Chargers News

LA Chargers: Projecting the 2020 defensive depth chart

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 18: Rayshawn Jenkins #23 of the Los Angeles Chargers (left), Jaylen Watkins #27 (center), and Desmond King #20 (right), celebrate after Jenkins intercepted a Patrick Mahomes pass late in the first quarter during an NFL football game on Monday, November 18, 2019, in Mexico City. The Chiefs defeated the Chargers 24-17. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - NOVEMBER 18: Rayshawn Jenkins #23 of the Los Angeles Chargers (left), Jaylen Watkins #27 (center), and Desmond King #20 (right), celebrate after Jenkins intercepted a Patrick Mahomes pass late in the first quarter during an NFL football game on Monday, November 18, 2019, in Mexico City. The Chiefs defeated the Chargers 24-17. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

Linebackers: Thomas Davis, Denzel Perryman, Uchenna Nwosu, Kyzir White, Drue Tranquill, Jacob Phillips, Emeke Egbule, Jatavis Brown

More or less, this is a run it back situation. On the strong side, the veteran, Thomas Davis, is going to rack up his 100 tackles, as he did in 2019. Some will criticize speed and athleticism as an issue when it comes to his age, but he’s still fairly good. This might be his last year, and he could really take advantage of that. While not a sexy name at linebacker, he’s efficient, even if old.

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Nwosu will be around the weak side linebacker and play some time there along with being a defensive end. Denzel Perryman will likely be back when it comes to starting this year at middle linebacker.

Some fans really like the idea of Kyzir White starting instead, but Anthony Lynn tends to be more conservative when it comes to him. He’s probably the future of middle linebacker after 2020, but Lynn will be careful when it comes to his knee.

Of course, White will still have a big role in 2020, even if he’s not a starter. Depending on the situation, he’ll alternate with Perryman. One person projected for an elevated role in 2020 is Drue Tranquill. He’s probably able to rotate between strong side and middle linebacker. With his great 2020, the Chargers will look to get him out on the field more.

Despite Jatavis Brown being a free agent, he’s back because of a lack of depth to replace him with. Brown has declined since his first years in the league, but he’s still serviceable. Emeke Egbule will have to fight to make the team, but he’s a solid depth piece as well as a good tackler.

My current mock draft has Jacob Phillips projected to the LA Chargers in the sixth round. The LSU product is rated a little lower in the draft, but that’s also in part because he’s coming out early. Had he stayed another year, with his tackling ability, he would’ve been a higher pick. Phillips is a nod to the future for the Chargers, who could have Perryman and Davis in their last years with the team.

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