LA Chargers Training Camp: 4 potential surprise cuts

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(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

LA Chargers’ potential surprise cut #1: Isaac Rochell, Defensive End

Let me start off by saying that Isaac Rochell is an amazing human being. He has been incredibly active in the community ever since he got drafted by the team in 2017. Also to his credit, he really showed some flashes that he could develop into a quality backup in 2018, but his production plummeted in 2019. Some of that is due to Joey Bosa being healthy all year, but he also wasn’t winning his one on one battles at the same rate either.

In his press conference early this week, Coach Lynn mentioned the possibility of moving Jerry Tillery around to the end spot once he gets more comfortable on the inside. This should not be a surprise, the team has consistently shown they will move the defensive line around in order to create mismatches.

Melvin Ingram and Bosa have each taken many reps rushing the passer from the interior and they’ve even used Damion Square as a “big end” as Coach Lynn likes to call it. He clearly wants to have options and versatility upfront.

I bring this up because Rochell doesn’t really bring any versatility to the table. He doesn’t possess enough power to create pressure from the interior line, which the team tried to get him to do last season, and he’s not particularly great against the run. Meanwhile, The Chargers do have two intriguing undrafted free agents in Joe Gaziano and Jesse Lemonier.

Gaziano absolutely possesses enough power and size where he could serve as the “big end” while also being able to rush the passer from both the interior and the edge. The former Northwestern standout racked up 30 career sacks and did most of his damage with bulldozing strength.

Lemonier is an intriguing athlete. He’s certainly a more raw project than Gaziano but he has the potential to be an Edge/Linebacker hybrid in the mold of Uchenna Nwosu.

While the idea of relying upon two undrafted free agents providing the primary source of depth behind the trio of Bosa, Ingram and Nwosu is a somewhat terrifying, I don’t think it’s out of the question to see the staff preferring to go with the youth movement instead of keeping a player around who didn’t record a single sack after the Dolphins game. Especially if they intend to move Tillery around more often.