Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports – LA Chargers
After four Spring League signings, the LA Chargers‘ roster currently stands at 86. That count will eventually stand at just 53 prior to the season kicking off in Washington. With a little more information coming from the coaching staff and OTAs, it’s not too early to make some roster predictions.
The variable that can’t be accounted for at this point is the preseason. 2020’s final roster felt easier to predict because we knew that most of the undrafted players would struggle to crack the roster without it.
Roster cuts were also more strict than they were this year, as the team had to be cut down to 80 players before training camp even started. This year, all 86 signed players will at least get to be part of the first preseason week.
LA Chargers 53-man roster prediction, post-OTAs:
Quarterbacks (2): Justin Hebert, Chase Daniel
Like I wrote about in my quarterback room questions piece, there’s two major questions here:
- Who wins QB2 behind Herbert?
- Will they carry a QB3?
Brandon Staley seemed to infer that they would only carry two quarterbacks on the roster, which naturally leads to a competition between Chase Daniel and Easton Stick. Daniel is a solid veteran journeyman backup with connections to the new coaching staff.
Stick was the developmental quarterback the Chargers drafted in 2019 out of NDSU. At the time, the Chargers might’ve had future starter hopes for Stick. However, that’s clearly no longer the case as the Chargers hope to have Herbert as the starter for the next 10-15 years (if not longer).
Preseason games and training camp will be a decisive factor behind who wins the backup job, but it’s really hard for me to see the coaching staff going with Stick over Daniel. Daniel has played nearly 70 NFL games with 5 starts. They know what they have in him if he needs to come into a game or start one. Unfortunately, Stick hasn’t played a snap of football in two years due to the aforementioned lack of a preseason in 2020.
For the time being, I have to assume Daniel is almost a lock for QB2. That leads to the second question about whether or not the Chargers will carry three quarterbacks. There is some merit to seeing whether Stick can continue his development as a long term backup.
It’s tough to see Stick as a QB3 on a roster that will almost certainly carry four running backs, four safeties, and possibly four tight ends. That’s without mentioning that Staley might want extra cornerback depth.
The practice squad would still be an option for Stick if the Chargers really want to keep him, but this feels like make or break time.