S Alohi Gilman, Notre Dame
With how loaded the Chargers’ secondary is, Alohi Gilman won’t see a single defensive snap. Until he develops, Gilman will exclusively play special teams. That’s not insulting his play though, as the special teams’ role is very important.
The Chargers have had a lot of great special teams players over the years. Unfortunately, they also lost a lot of them this offseason. Adrian Phillips, Derek Watt, and Nick Dzubnar all left the team in free agency. Phillips was a former special teams All-Pro for the Chargers. Watt led all special teams players in tackles last season. They can be replaced, but it will take some time.
Gilman is a very willing tackler. His downhill running is very physical and he has a natural sense of tracking the ball when making his hits. 245 tackles at Notre Dame over the course of his career is just a baffling number for a safety.
While Gilman is likely to just play special teams for now, having some depth at safety is important. The number of injuries that piled up in 2019 was abnormal with Derwin James and Phillips both going down towards the beginning of the season, but the Chargers have to have a contingency plan. Even if Gilman isn’t best equipped to be a starting safety right now, let him develop because he may be needed if the time comes.