3. Alohi Gilman
What have you heard about Alohi Gilman thus far during Chargers training camp? Exactly. Gilman has not made any kind of impression thus far and that is probably telling of what direction his NFL career is going as we head into the 2022 season.
At the very beginning of camp Gilman was getting looks as the SAF3 on the first-team defense but he has not really done anything since then of note. The problem for Gilman is that other players have really stood out and there are only so many roster spots to give out.
Derwin James is not participating as he is currently holding in and that will obviously change how the safety room shakes up. JT Woods was just drafted in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft and is expected to play a role in his rookie season with his athleticism and cover ability. He has to be the betting favorite for the SAF3 job.
Nasir Adderley has continued his momentum from having a bounce-back year in 2021 and has looked really good thus far in camp. He is obviously going to start at FS for the Chargers, regardless of if James is lining up at SS or elsewhere in the defense.
The big difference-maker is Mark Webb, who has turned heads thus far in training camp. Webb has great cover ability and that is exactly what Brandon Staley wants out of a depth defensive back that will play in nickel and dime.
Teams typically carry around 10 defensive backs on the roster, although with Staley's defense that number might be 11 or potentially even 12. There are these four safeties who are above Gilman already. Add J.C. Jackson, Asante Samuel Jr, Michael Davis and Bryce Callahan and we are at eight.
Rookie Deane Leonard has really stood out and should make the roster to make it nine. Tevaughn Campbell will likely get a back-end roster spot because of how much he played last year, making it 10. Add in rookie Ja'Sir Taylor and we are at 11.
Gilman's style doesn't really fit Brandon Staley's defense and to make a roster spot, he is going to have to either show a huge jump in his game or showcase special teams ability that cannot be ignored. If not, he too might be on the practice squad in 2022.