Stock Down: Denzel Perryman, linebacker
Denzel Perryman has been a true difference-maker for the Los Angeles Chargers over the years, both in the positive and negative connotation. The team’s run defense has been exponentially better when he’s been healthy.
That’s the problem though, he simply cannot stay healthy. The team put a band-aid on the linebacker problem last year by signing Thomas Davis; and while I personally liked Davis and think he was undervalued by Chargers fans, he was clearly not a long term solution for this franchise.
When the Chargers traded back into the first round of the draft, I think it’s safe to assume most people were expecting it to be for an offensive tackle. Instead, they drafted Kenneth Murray. They also added Nick Vigil in free agency before the draft and of course have Drue Tranquill from last year.
It was pretty clear the Chargers thought they needed more versatility and playmaking at the position and they went out and got it in Murray and Vigil. They reportedly view Tranquill as the starter at the MIKE position, but all three of those guys can be interchangeable at either linebacker spot.
Murray should bring a lot of the explosive and disruptive ability that we are accustomed to seeing out of Perryman but is clearly a much better athlete. Vigil is a very smart linebacker who excels in clear passing situations, an area where Perryman has struggled his whole career.
So what kind of role is left for the former Miami standout? Unfortunately for him, it doesn’t seem like there is much of one.