Hayward will continue to shut down opposing wide receivers on the outside, but the fact that Davis is still starting opposite him means trouble. Teams have picked on whoever lines up across Hayward since 2018, be it Davis, Facyson or Trevor Williams. That is the true weak spot in an otherwise fantastic defense.
Harris Jr. was reportedly signed to man the slot, leaving King without a role. Will he play safety? Will he be tried outside? Perhaps he will fill the recently vacated Adrian Phillips‘ hybrid safety/linebacker role. Harris Jr. is an upgrade over King, who had a bad season, but King is versatile enough that he may find another role and excel at it. His long-term stay on the team depends on it.
James is the star here. His presence makes safety one of the strengths of the team, even if there’s no elite option alongside him. We know Anthony Lynn loves Jenkins, and as of now, he is the other starter at the position. However, Adderley may challenge for that spot, as his skill set complements James better.
Teamer is a good enough depth piece and should have learned many things from last year when he was thrown into the fire as an UDFA from Tulane. In other teams, Gilman may not make the roster if he has a below-average offseason. However, the Chargers are notoriously patient with their draft picks, and barring a hugely horrendous preseason or a season-ending injury, Gilman is probably going to make it.
Roster spots used: 55/55
The LA Chargers have a deep roster, with many stars and not many weak points. Even with Taylor or a rookie Herbert at quarterback, they are in good shape to challenge for a playoff spot. It’s hard to not place high expectations on such a talented squad, and the Chargers do have a history of falling short of expectations.
They players will likely be looking to prove 2019 was an outlier season full of injuries, mistakes, and bad luck, and that 2018 is their true form. The quality we see in this predicted roster has what it takes to make it happen.