The final result of the dream LA Chargers offseason:
Every fan's dream offseason is different but if I could build a perfect offseason while also staying in the realm of possibility then this is what I would do. Below we are going to break down a very early projected 53-man roster with some comments on each position group.
Quarterback (2): Justin Herbert, Easton Stick (2)
Chase Daniel was a great mentor for Justin Herbert but Herbert does not need that in 2022 in the second year of this offense. There is no reason to hold three quarterbacks on the roster and the Chargers are already paying Easton Stick, so he is the backup.
Running back (3): Austin Ekeler, Justin Jackson, Rookie RB
In a perfect world, the Chargers find a running back in the late rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft that is better than both Larry Rountree and Joshua Kelley. Third time's the charm, right?
Fullback (1): Gabe Nabers
No point in changing anything here, especially with Stephen Anderson likely finding a new team in 2022.
Wide receiver (5): Davante Adams, Keenan Allen, Joshua Palmer, Jalen Guyton, Andre Roberts
Davante Adams and Keenan Allen would undoubtedly be the best 1-2 receiving duo in football and the rest of the room is still deep. Joshua Palmer is only going to get better and is going to be a really good third option while Guyton is great as the fourth option that can take the top off of a defense.
Tight end (3): David Njoku, Donald Parham, Tre' McKitty
What a well-rounded tight end room. Two of these guys are pass-catchers that can block (Njoku, Parham), one of which has a high ceiling (Njoku) and the other is an elite red-zone target (Parham). Meanwhile, McKitty is blossoming as a pass-catcher and is already a fantastic run-blocking tight end.
Offensive line (10): Rashawn Slater, Matt Feiler, Corey Linsley, Oday Aboushi, Rookie RT, Trey Pipkins, Brenden Jaimes, Scott Quessenberry, Rookie G, Storm Norton
Not only should the Chargers hope to get a starting quality right tackle in the 2022 NFL Draft, but they should really be aiming to draft a versatile interior offensive lineman in the mid-rounds, which absolutely is possible with the right scouting.
EDGE (4): Uchenna Nwosu, Joey Bosa, Chris Rumph, rookie EDGE
Rumph gets a bigger role than he had last year and the Chargers try to land another mid-round edge-rusher like Rumph that could either blossom into a contributor or even contribute in his first season.
Defensive tackle (5): Justin Jones, Akiem Hicks, Rookie DT, Jerry Tillery, Breiden Fehoko
The Chargers should be able to stop the run with a trio of Jones, Hicks and a solid run-stuffing defensive tackle. Jerry Tillery can stay fresh and produce more in the pass-rushing snaps that he does get.
Linebacker (7): Kyzir White, Drue Tranquill, Kenneth Murray, Kevin Minter, Amen Ogbongbemiga, Niemann, Rookie LB
This position group is still a tad thin but in a perfect world, we see Kenneth Murray progress in the right direction to be an over-qualified LB3. That is why the team needs to bring in a cheap veteran like Kevin Minter.
Cornerback (5): Michael Davis, Asante Samuel Jr, Rookie CB, late-round slot CB, Campbell
The Chargers should draft two cornerbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft: one that can start right away and one that falls in the draft board because he projects to be a slot corner.
Safeties (4): Derwin James, Nasir Adderley, Alohi Gilman, Mark Webb, rookie safety
The starting duo of Derwin James and Nasir Adderley is so good that I do not think we see much change at this position.
Special teams (3): Dustin Hopkins, Matt Araiza, Matt Overton
The Chargers go from Ty Long to Matt Araiza so he can boom punts down the field in the very rare instances that Brandon Staley does not go for it on fourth down.
After all of this action, based on the cap numbers and resources mentioned at the top of the article, the Chargers would have around $4.2 million in cap space for in-season moves.
Obviously, the Chargers are going to carry far more players on the roster heading into training camp. But based on this ideal offseason (assuming the rookies can be impactful), then this is an estimation of what the Week 1 53-man roster could be.