Biggest surprises of the initial Chargers 53-man roster

Jason Reed
Los Angeles Chargers v New Orleans Saints
Los Angeles Chargers v New Orleans Saints / Sean Gardner/GettyImages
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1. Amen Ogbongbemiga making the roster

Not many people had Amen Ogbongbemiga making the LA Chargers 53-man roster this season. There definitely were some pundits who predicted he would make the cut (shoutout to Daniel Popper of The Athletic, who hit on 52 of his 53 picks), but for the most part, many viewed Ogbongbemiga as a practice squad patron.

Amen did not play much for the Chargers last season and despite his great athleticism and special teams potential, he did not fair as well as expected. Defensively he was not very good and he did not add this dynamic presence to special teams, which was expected.

However, that was his rookie year and the traits that Amen has simply cannot be taught. With a year of NFL experience under his belt and a new special teams coordinator in Ryan Ficken, Amen must have made enough leaps in that regard to make the roster.

As thin as the team is at linebacker he is not going to be called upon to play big linebacker minutes next season. Linebacker is already the least important position arguably on the entire roster for how the Chargers play defense.

This is merely a special teams inclusion for the Chargers and it makes sense when you look at it in that regard. Personally, knowing what Staley likes in his defense, I thought the team would instead go with a special teams asset in the secondary.

For that reason, I believed that undrafted free agent Raheem Layne had the inside track to make the roster over Ogbongbemiga. Instead, he will be on the practice squad to start the season as it is unlikely he gets claimed.