With the offseason all but wrapped up let’s take a look at how the roster moves affect the individual players on the Los Angeles Chargers from 2019.
The Los Angeles Chargers were recently pegged as one of the most likely teams to go worst to first in 2020. That is a sign of respect to the moves they have made this offseason. Regardless of who starts at quarterback, they have upgraded a lot of positions across the board.
The other side of that coin is that they did have a lot of turnover on the roster. That obviously will affect several players that were holdovers or incumbents from last season. Let’s take a look at those players’ individual stock in this month’s stock watch.
Some of the obvious ones, like Sam Tevi or Roderic Teamer, will not be mentioned here since they are clearly stock down with the offseason additions. Instead, I’ll dive into some of the remaining question marks surrounding the roster and outline my personal expectations for those players. Their individual stock is more about their role being solidified than those expectations.
Stock Up: Michael Davis, cornerback
The first player worth mentioning is starting cornerback Michael Davis. Heading into the offseason, it was blatantly clear the Chargers needed to upgrade the secondary around Casey Hayward and Derwin James.
We all thought that meant at the corner opposite of Hayward since Desmond King is on the roster and is a former All-Pro player as a slot corner. Instead, the Chargers added Chris Harris via free agency and are reportedly going to move King into the role vacated by Adrian Phillips.
After adding Harris some of us thought the team would draft a corner in the draft to compete with Davis, or at least add some depth at that position. Now, it’s important to mention that Harris can play outside (as he did for the Denver Broncos all of last season), but he made it pretty clear that he signed with the Chargers to play in the slot.
All of this shows that the team believes in Davis and is comfortable with him keeping his starting role on the team. To that end, they signed the incumbent starter to a restricted free agency tender to keep him around.
To his credit, he has improved each year he has been in the NFL. He had a career-best nine pass breakups this past season to go along with 39 total tackles and two interceptions. Davis certainly has his struggles in pass coverage, but the team really values his speed and athleticism at the position. His physical profile is exactly what defensive coordinator Gus Bradley wants in a corner.
Barring an injury, it’s pretty clear this job belongs to Davis and is, therefore, “Stock Up”. I don’t want to say I’m expecting a breakout season from Davis, but if he continues to improve as he has so far, we could be looking at a possible season of 50 tackles, 12-14 pass break and three to five interceptions. If he can reach those numbers I would call that a successful season for the former undrafted free agent.