3. Deane Leonard
The cornerback position is perhaps the most fascinating storyline to follow during Chargers training camp up until Week 1 of the 2023 season. The Chargers have the excellent problem of having too much talent at the position and only having so many starting spots on the defense.
J.C. Jackson's recovery has been ahead of schedule with it seeming likely that he will suit up in Week 1. That seemingly gave the team a starting trio of Jackson, Michael Davis and Asante Samuel Jr. However, it looked like Ja'Sir Taylor would actually get the starting slot corner spot, making Samuel the CB4.
Samuel has responded by balling out in training camp and proving that he is too good to not make a starter. It will be interesting to see how this develops and how Brandon Staley handles the snap counts if everyone is healthy.
Another wrench being thrown into the mix that is not talked about as much is Deane Leonard. The sophomore corner balled out in training camp last year and then was a very productive player in Ryan Ficken's special teams. On most other teams he would be penciled in to get a decent number of snaps in 2023 but that may not happen with all the talent ahead of him.
Leonard is making it hard for the Chargers to not play him, though, as he is once again turning in a fantastic training camp. Now Staley and the coaching staff is left with an even tougher decision to make.
Like Hightower, Leonard should get plenty of snaps in the preseason and that could ultimately decide just how much he plays in 2023. If he plays like he is playing in practice then he will definitely turn heads.