LA Chargers: Reasonable predictions for 2020 defensive rookies

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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

LA Chargers’ defensive rookie expectations: Alohi Gilman

  • 15 solo tackles, <10% defensive snaps played

If you though Kenneth Murray’s projections were disappointing then you are going to be very disappointed by Alohi Gilman’s projections. Simply put, Gilman is not going to be a big part of the defense in his rookie season and really should not be.

If Gilman is getting a big number of snaps in 2020 then that means something went wrong at the safety position. Ahead of him are the likes of Derwin James, Rayshawn Jenkins, Nasir Adderley and Roderick Teamer.

The reason the Chargers drafted Gilman seems to be for his character as a leader as well as his ability to be an open-field tackler, which is going to make him an asset in the special teams department. Of his 15 solo tackles that we are projecting for his rookie season, a dozen will likely come on punt and kick returns.

Gilman is going to play less than 10 percent of the defensive snaps in his rookie season and really will probably only see the field in prevent (hail mary) situations as well as late in games when the game is out of reach (either way) so the starters do not risk injury.

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While Gilman could prove me wrong, I do think that he will end up being a career special teamer, but there is nothing wrong with that. There are some players in the NFL, such as New England’s Matt Slater, who have carved out a long career as a special teamer.