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LA Chargers: 3 options to replace Melvin Ingram after 2020

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 01: Defensive end Melvin Ingram III #54 of the Los Angeles Chargers walks on the field before a game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on December 1, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 23-20. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 01: Defensive end Melvin Ingram III #54 of the Los Angeles Chargers walks on the field before a game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on December 1, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chargers 23-20. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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The LA Chargers may have to replace Melvin Ingram after the 2020 season. 

The LA Chargers drafted Melvin Ingram with the 18th pick of the first round during the 2012 NFL draft. The South Carolina product has been a rock on the defensive line ever since, in 8 seasons Ingram has racked up 265 solo tackles and 49 sacks. He has also been to the pro bowl three times during his career.

This season hasn’t been the final year of a contract Ingram was looking to have. The 31-year-old has dealt with knee injuries throughout the year and hasn’t even recorded a sack in six games.

Even though Ingram is struggling this year, the task of replacing him will not be an easy one, but there are a few different options out there.

Jerry Tillery 

The 24-year-old Tillery was the Bolts’ first-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. After an underwhelming rookie campaign, Tillery seems to get better with every game he plays in 2020.

As of Week 10, Tillery has recorded five sacks already. Listed as a defensive tackle on the Chargers depth chart, Tillery has started the last two weeks in place of Joey Bosa, who has been out with a concussion. He has been a visible difference-maker applying pressure on opposing quarterbacks, playing 75% of defensive snaps.

A full season on the edge could be the exact thing Tillery needs to have a breakout season.

Gregory Rousseau

This 6’7″ freak athlete from the University of Miami, who hovers between 230-260 pounds, could be precisely the complement to Joey Bosa the Chargers are looking for when it comes to Ingram’s replacement.

Rousseau led the ACC in sacks last season with 15.5 before opting out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns. Standing at 6’7″, one would imagine the sophomore to be more of a power rusher. One would be wrong. Rousseau plays with speed off the edge that could translate very well to the NFL level.

The LA Chargers will likely have another top 10 draft pick this year, and if they choose to look away from the offensive line, Rousseau could be on their draft board.

Cameron Wake

With Justin Herbert on a rookie contract, the Chargers should be in win-now mode every single season. Cameron Wake would provide a player who can be productive on day one next season.

The other options I’ve listed above are a bit of a risk. Cameron Wake is the no-risk option. After this year, the 38-year-old is entering free agency but is a lock for 5-7 sacks a season. On Tennesse this season, Wake has recorded 2.5 sacks on a Titans’ defense that has struggled with the pass rush.

With a player like Joey Bosa grabbing all the attention from the offensive line, Wake could excel in a Chargers uniform next season.

The saying goes, age is just a number. Cameron wake continues to prove that every season so why not next year for the Chargers.

Next. Chargers select Patrick Surtain in 2021 mock draft

Replacing Melvin Ingram may not be GM Tom Telesco’s top priority this offseason as the team has other issues higher on the to-do list. Still, it is a storyline to remember when the post-season comes along.

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