This is the shocker of the article. Tre' McKitty was just selected by the Chargers in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft and it seems impossible that the team would be willing to give up on him so soon after drafting him. But if it came down to it, McKitty may have the hardest case to make to stay on the roster.
The easy answer here is Stone Smartt, who battled his way to earn a roster spot in the preseason by forcing the Chargers to carry four tight ends. That being said, the tight end depth behind Gerald Everett is so troubling that the Bolts may end up just giving snaps to the hot hand regardless of their status with the team.
Smartt could end up having a bigger role than expected with the team, which leaves McKitty in a tough spot. He played really poorly in his sophomore season and a lot of that poor play carried over into the preseason as well. He will get a chance to prove himself in the regular season but if he fails there is no guarantees he will stick around.
As previously mentioned, Staley has shown no hesitancy in parting ways with former draft picks. If McKitty is still struggling and the Chargers are heading out of the bye week with a need to create a roster spot then he is absolutely in danger of being let go.
In previous years Smartt would get the boot without second thought. However, the Chargers have proven thus far with the roster process that they are awarding the best performances and not giving special treatment to recent draft picks. For that reason, McKitty may be the tight end that gets the boot at some point.