Breaking down the LA Chargers Depth Chart: The running backs
By Jason Reed
RB3: Joshua Kelley
The rookie and hometown kid out of UCLA will be the LA Chargers’ third-string running back in 2020 and will be one of the more over-qualified RB3s in the league. It might seem a bit low to have a fourth-round draft pick as the third running back on the depth chart, but that is where Kelley belongs entering the season.
The Chargers must have really liked Kelley as they are a team that has had success with running backs in the later rounds and picked Kelley in the fourth, after not having a third-round pick, before filling other positional needs, such as wide receiver.
It is not hard to see why the Chargers liked Kelley. He was a workhorse at UCLA and is someone who could come in and carry the ball on an every-down basis for the Bolts if something went wrong and the team needed him to in 2020.
At the very least, he is a fantastic short-yardage option that balances out the shiftiness of Jackson and makes up for the lack of success in short-yardage situations for Austin Ekeler.
I think we are going to see a lot of Ekeler-Kelley backfield on third and short, with the Chargers utilizing the RPO with Kelley as the dedicated runner and Ekeler as a receiving threat out of the backfield.
Plus, with Jackson’s injury history, there is a chance that Kelley ends up being the RB2 just because he is the one that stays healthy. Right now, though, he slides in at RB3.