LA Chargers Training Camp: Players who must impress to avoid being cut
By Tyler Gallagher
Forrest Lamp, OG
We all know the history of Lamp in the injury department. That is why he makes this list as someone who needs to show out but let’s just consider his play for a moment.
Lamp has excellent feet and excels as a pass protector. While he has not had many snaps to demonstrate this potential, it is easy to see that he could immediately be better in pass protection than many previous Chargers linemen.
However, good pass protection and high potential is about all we have seen out of Lamp in three years. In the 157 snaps Lamp took last year, PFF graded him at a 59.3 overall and gave him a 56.3 run-blocking grade.
For reference, these numbers are both slightly worse than Sam Tevi’s 59.8 and 61.5, respectively, last year. Lamp’s run-blocking grade is particularly concerning given the fact that the Chargers offense is likely to run the ball far more often this year.
For the LA Chargers to keep an injury-prone player around during a pandemic where injuries are more likely, they need to see high-upside starting potential in this year’s training camp.
Fortunately for Lamp, the Chargers have incentive to keep an eighth lineman around this year, as teams are only permitted to have 48 active players on game day if 8 of those players are offensive linemen.
With Trey Pipkins, Sam Tevi, Dan Feeney, Mike Pouncey, Scott Quessenberry, Trai Turner, and Bryan Bulaga being virtual locks, Lamp may just be competing with Ryan Groy for that last spot. Despite this, Lamp is going to need to show a reason to keep him around, particularly in a year where having healthy depth will be crucial.
Denzel Perryman, LB
Along the same lines as Forrest Lamp, the injury-prone Denzel Perryman is going to need to show something in training camp to stick around this year.
Unlike Lamp, Perryman has actually demonstrated results rather than just showing off high potential.
As anyone who has watched LA Chargers football recently knows, Perryman can be an absolute tone-setter for the defense on one of his better days. He is best known for his punishing hits, and he has an excellent ability to quickly diagnose plays and get a run stop in the backfield.
While Perryman has been very inconsistent over the years and lost his starting job last season, he has been valuable when available as the Chargers only linebacker capable of diagnosing run plays early and shutting them down quickly.
However, the Chargers linebacker room is not that same group any more. Even though he is just a rookie, it is reasonable to expect the playmaking rookie Kenneth Murray to be able to fill that role for the Chargers.
Additionally, Murray has the ability to be versatile in a way that Perryman is not. While Murray is good at stopping the run, he also has the physical ability to excel in pass coverage.
On top of that, there is depth now. Kenneth Murray, Drue Tranquill, Kyzir White, and Nick Vigil are all capable of being starters in the league. On top of that, there are depth pieces at linebacker such as Uchenna Nwosu, Malik Jefferson, and Emeke Egbule.
While it is not likely that Perryman gets cut, the ability to stash him on the practice squad this year means that Perryman is going to need to bring his A-game to camp to avoid being a roster casualty.