3. Joshua Kelley has an early lead on Larry Rountree
Austin Ekeler and Isaiah Spiller eventually figure to be the Chargers' RB1 and RB2 as the team gets deeper into the season. After that, the depth chart behind those two gets a little more interesting. Of course, Spiller will have to "earn" his spot as a rookie, but there's not much prognostication needed there to say that the Chargers have a lot invested in their 2022 fourth-round selection.
On Day 1 of camp, our first look at the order of reps gave us some insight into the RB room:
2021 sixth-round selection Larry Rountree didn't get on the field until later in the process and had a rather poor turnover when he did get a chance at reps. A fumble in a practice without pads and hitting is certainly not what the coaching staff wants to see.
Again, it's worth stressing that the Chargers are very, very early on in the process of determining which running backs will make the roster. But Rountree having a rather poor showing after being a healthy scratch for four of the last six games in 2021 isn't the start that he wanted. Kelley might clinch the RB2-3 with Spiller spot before long if he plays his camp reps the right way.
A world where Rountree has to go against UDFAs Kevin Marks and Leddie Brown to make the roster and/or practice squad is one we're not too far away from.
The Chargers have invested higher draft capital in both Kelley and Spiller over Rountree. Kelley has also had a more potent offensive package than Rountree at both of their respective peaks, aside from the fumbling concerns.