Chargers Draft

LA Chargers: The biggest concern for each Chargers rookie

TEMPE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks watches from the sidelines during the first half of the NCAAF game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 23, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
TEMPE, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks watches from the sidelines during the first half of the NCAAF game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 23, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

Joshua Kelley’s biggest concern with the LA Chargers: Running style

Joshua Kelley was a surprising selection by the LA Chargers. After not having a pick on day two of the draft, because of the trade-up for Kenneth Murray, the first position that most fans expected the Chargers to take on day three was wide receiver.

Instead, they went with a hometown running back in Joshua Kelley, who not only went to school at UCLA but was born in Inglewood and grew up in Lancaster. He is as hometown as it gets.

At the time I did not love the selection but considering who the Chargers managed to get after Kelley, the selection was fine. It also told Charger fans that the team might be prioritizing running back more than we thought as they might see a bigger role for Kelley than initially envisioned.

The Chargers seemingly only needed a change of pace running back to play alongside Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson but with Jackson’s injury history, they might be pivoting to give Kelley more of the workload behind Ekeler as the team’s true runner.

Ekeler will get more snaps, but he will be involved so much in the passing game that the number of carries will be close between him and Kelley.

Kelley is a good back to bring in for that role as he carried a big workload and knows how to handle it at UCLA. However, he was not great in making tacklers miss and was not an open-field elusive back that can break off big plays.

He was a physical, bruising running back that ran between the tackles. And while that worked in the PAC-12, in the NFL, he might only be a short-yardage option. Plus, that physicality could lead to injuries, as guys in the NFL hit harder than guys in the PAC-12.

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