Chargers training camp officially begins this week as the team starts its hopeful path to the first Super Bowl in franchise history. From late July to (hopefully) February, Chargers fans are going to be engaged with a team that is talented enough to win it all.
Before the Chargers start that journey in the regular season the team has to go through camp and the preseason. Then, the Bolts have to do the hardest thing in sports: cut down the roster from 90 players to 53 (which will all happen on one day this year unlike previous years).
With camp around the corner and the start of the 2023 journey upon us, we thought it would be fun to highlight one thought about every single player that is currently rostered on the Chargers.
One thought for all 90 players on the Chargers roster:
As you know, there are going to be a lot of players who don't even come close to making the roster. While there are going to be some fun backend roster battles, a lot of guys are simply camp bodies. For that reason, we decided to lump them together to save you the scrolling time of having to read the same sentence several times.
He's just a camp body (13):
- Brevin Allen, Tyler Baker-Williams, Johari Branch, Cam Brown, Terrell Bynum, Nathan East, Andrew Farmer, AJ Finley, Mikel Jones, Terrance Lang, Nic Melsop, CJ Okoye, AJ Uzodinma
There are also players who are not favored to get a roster spot on the 2023 Chargers but have a decent chance of battling for a practice squad spot.
Battling for the practice squad (17):
- Christopher Hinton, Hunter Kampmoyer, Carlo Kemp, Tyreek Maddox-Williams, David Moa, Austen Pleasants, Zack Bailey, Keelan Doss, John Hightower, Larry Rountree, Stone Smartt, Andrew Trainer, Isaac Weaver, Mark Webb Jr, Michael Jacquet, Kemon Hall, Darrius Shephard
There is one more group of players that all have their own distinction. There are several undrafted free agents with potential that actually have a chance of making the roster. If they don't, some will make the practice squad, others may be let go.
Undrafted free agents with legitimate potential (7):
- Jerrod Clark, Elijah Dotson, Michael Ezeike, Tyler Hoosman, Tiawan Mullen, Ty Shelby, Pokey Wilson
That leaves us with 53 players to come up with individual sentiments for. Without further ado, let's just into the specialized thoughts for the remaining players, going by position (starting with quarterback, of course).
- Justin Herbert: 2022 was a down year for Justin Herbert due to multiple injuries and bad offensive playcalling. With health and better play-calling, Herbert could ascend to the MVP conversation in 2023.
- Easton Stick: The Chargers seemingly kept Easton Stick around because he is buddies with Justin Herbert. If he is in the game, the Bolts are in trouble.
- Max Duggan: The TCU train continued with Max Duggan in the seventh round, who will likely be a preseason star.
- Austin Ekeler: The biggest story around Austin Ekeler right now has nothing to do with his play but with him leading the charge of disgruntled running backs. 2023 is going to be a polarizing year for Ekeler.
- Joshua Kelley: A decent backup running back who was better between the tackles, Joshua Kelley offers little to nothing as a passing option.
- Isaiah Spiller: The biggest x-factor of the running back room. Isaiah Spiller was not NFL-ready in his rookie year as the youngest player in the 2022 NFL Draft. Hopefully, that has changed in 2023.
- Zander Horvath: A fullback in 2023! Is there really anything else to say?
- Keenan Allen: If Keenan Allen can stay healthy then he is still an elite wide receiver who uses crisp route-running to get open. That is a big if.
- Mike Williams: Like Allen, Mike Williams needs to stay healthy to be effective for the Chargers. Because of his contract, this could be his last season in LA.
- Joshua Palmer: After stepping up multiple times in 2022, Palmer is going to have to fight off a first-round pick for WR3 snaps in 2023.
- Quentin Johnston: A talented rookie with some flaws in his game. The ceiling is high but fans should lower expectations for his rookie season.
- Jalen Guyton: Speed kills and Jalen Guyton has the most speed on offense. Expect a highlight-reel throw or two to Guyton.
- Derius Davis: Speed kills, part two. Davis will step up as the speed option if Guyton struggles but will have an even larger impact on special teams.
- Gerald Everett: One of the most underrated tight ends in the sport, Gerald Everett gives Justin Herbert a reliable passing target as the TE1.
- Donald Parham: After missing most of 2022, Donald Parham enters a huge 2023 in which he is going to look to prove that he is more than just a big red-zone target.
- Tre' McKitty: A really disappointing sophomore season has raised questions about Tre' McKitty, who wasn't even a good blocker in 2022.
- Rashawn Slater: One of the best tackles in the sport that is going to prove himself after the league arguably forgot about him in 2022.
- Zion Johnson: A solid sophomore who showed flashes of being really good but endured typical rookie-year struggles. Moving next to Slater should help Zion Johnson.
- Corey Linsley: One of the best centers in the sport who is entering the tail-end of his prime but still produces at an elite level.
- Jamaree Salyer: The unsung hero of the 2022 season. If Jamaree Salyer thrived at left tackle then the sky is the limit at right guard.
- Trey Pipkins: One of the most important signings of the 2022 offseason. Trey Pipkins cements the Chargers' starting offensive line for at least three seasons.
- Jordan McFadden: Another Salyer-like steal who could be very valuable in case of injury.
- Foster Sarell: A swing tackle who really struggled last year and is, unfortunately, the best option off the bench.
- Brenden Jaimes: A surprising cut candidate who has not panned out after being drafted in 2021.
- Will Clapp: The team's backup center who has contributed to Jaimes' stock falling in LA.
Interior defensive line:
- Sebastian Joseph-Day: The leader of the interior defensive line who is one of the best in the sport in getting after the ball carrier.
- Austin Johnson: An impactful injury from 2022 that could give the Chargers a huge boost in 2023 with health alone.
- Morgan Fox: The best pass-rusher of the entire interior defensive line who also signed one of the biggest team-friendly contracts of the entire offseason.
- Otito Ogbonnia: A sophomore coming off of a substantial injury who needs to turn in a good season to guarantee a long tenure.
- Nick Williams: A late addition in the spring that provides experience in the room. Could be cut in favor of an undrafted free agent depending on training camp.
- Scott Matlock: A promising bulldog-like rookie that could take over for SJD or Johnson in future years once they leave LA.
- Joey Bosa: Undoubtedly one of the best edge rushers in the game, Joey Bosa has to prove critics wrong in 2023. His injury knocked him down a peg and his outburst in the AFC Wild Card Game gave his critics plenty of ammunition.
- Khalil Mack: While no longer the Khalil Mack of old, Mack can still produce at a very high level. Mack and Bosa never got to play long stretches together. Hopefully, they can in 2023.
- Tuli Tuipulotu: Rookie edge rusher who can shadow on the inside and might end up being very important in 2023 and beyond because of his versatility.
- Chris Rumph: Third-year edge rusher who has not developed as planned. The 2023 season is going to be a make-or-break season for Rumph and his NFL career.
- Eric Kendricks: Drue Tranquill's replacement who has to stay healthy and produce in order to keep the Chargers from looking foolish.
- Kenneth Murray: Fourth-year linebacker who simply has not figured it out. If Kenneth Murray's mistakes continue in camp then he might not even start in 2023.
- Daiyan Henley: Promising rookie that can usurp Kenneth Murray on the depth chart with a strong camp. Henley has to produce or else the linebacker position will be very thin.
- Nick Niemann: Solid special teams player who might finally see more snaps on defense in 2023.
- Amen Ogbongbemiga: Freak athlete who is always going to have a place on the roster because of special teams.
- Michael Davis: One of the most underrated cornerbacks in the entire league that played like a legitimate lock-down corner in the second half of the 2022 season.
- J.C. Jackson: Former top corner who struggled and got hurt in 2022. Jackson is the key from this Chargers defense being good to being great.
- Asante Samuel Jr: Promising young corner who may simply get fewer snaps because of circumstances. Regardless, he brings value to this team and adds fantastic depth.
- Ja'Sir Taylor: Second-year corner who is really good against the run and may log a lot of snaps at slot corner because of it.
- Deane Leonard: Training camp standout from 2022 that might end up standing out again in 2023. For now, Deane Leonard is someone who can still thrive on special teams.
- Derwin James: The leader of this defense and one of the best players in the sport. The Chargers defense will go as far as Derwin James will take them.
- Alohi Gilman: Quietly solid safety who is on the fast track to starting in 2023 after taking Nasir Adderley's job in 2022. Gilman's athleticism hurts him, but his football IQ has put him in great positions to succeed.
- JT Woods: Second-year safety who very obviously was not NFL-ready in his rookie year. JT Woods is more athletic than Gilman but needs to prove that he isn't so raw.
- Raheem Layne: Another training camp standout from 2022 that has a better chance of making the roster because of how thin the position is.
- JK Scott: Won't boom a punt as long as some of the elite punters but is a master of hang-time that keeps other teams from returning punts, which in turn limits other teams from making back-breaking special teams plays that lose the game for the Bolts.
- Dustin Hopkins: Veteran kicker who has proven that he can make kicks in big spots but is also coming off of an injury to his kicking leg.
- Cameron Dicker: Young kicker who thrived in the opportunity he was given but does have concerns about how far he can kick compared to others.
- Josh Harris: Quietly one of the best in the sport at a position that is always overlooked, long snapper.