This Chargers roster possess an impressive roster headlined by some of the game’s biggest stars. Here’s a positional breakdown of the Chargers’ projected depth chart heading into training camp.
Justin Herbert, Chase Daniel, Easton Stick, Brandon Peters
Herbert backed up a strong rookie season with an even better sophomore year. He could emerge as one of the best quarterbacks in the league in year three.
As for the depth behind him, it’s highly unlikely the Chargers will carry four quarterbacks on their active roster. In fact, they could roll with Herbert and Daniel if they need another roster spot elsewhere. Stick is a 2019 fifth-round pick who has thrown one professional pass. Peters signed as an undrafted free agent this spring out of Illinois and could be a practice squad candidate.
Austin Ekeler, Isaiah Spiller, Joshua Kelley, Larry Rountree, Leddie Brown, Kevin Marks Jr.
Ekeler is arguably the best pass-catching tailback in the NFL and is coming off a 1,500-yard and 20-touchdown season. Los Angeles’ problem has been finding a suitable backup who can run between the tackles and give Ekeler a blow on early downs. Kelley and Rountree are both recent draft picks who haven’t delivered much return on investment. The hope is that Spiller, a 2022 fourth-round pick out of Texas A&M, can adequately fill that role as Ekeler’s understudy.
Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Joshua Palmer, Jalen Guyton, DeAndre Carter, Michael Bandy, Maurice Ffrench, Jason Moore Jr., Joe Reed, Trevon Bradford
The Chargers have one of the best receiving duos in the league. Allen is still a crisp route runner who finds ways to get open even at 30 years old. Williams is the home run threat and red zone monster. The question is whether someone can emerge behind those two as a reliable third option. Palmer, a 2021 third-round pick, caught 33 passes for 353 yards and caught four touchdowns as a rookie. Guyton hauled in 31 balls for 448 yards and three touchdowns last year. Both had a handful of impressive moments throughout the year. What the Chargers need is at least one of them to emerge as a more consistent threat.
One of Los Angeles’ most intriguing camp battles could be at wide receiver, where six guys could be battling for perhaps only two spots.
Gerald Everett, Donald Parham Jr., Tre’ McKitty, Hunter Kampmoyer, Stone Smartt, Erik Krommenhoek
Tight end is one of Los Angeles’ most lackluster position groups. After parting ways with Jared Cook, the Chargers brought in another retread in Everett, who has disappointed in stints with the Rams and Seahawks.
Behind him it doesn’t get much more exciting. Parham has 30 receptions in two seasons. McKitty, a 2021 third-round pick, barely saw the field as a rookie. And the rest of the group features very little NFL experience.
A dynamic tight end could put this offense over the top. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Los Angeles has one on the roster.
Rashawn Slater, Andrew Trainer
Slater made an impact right away as a rookie, making the Pro Bowl in his first season. He’s slated to be Los Angeles’ left tackle of the future.
Matt Feiler, Jamaree Salyer, Ryan Hunter
Feiler is one of the best guards in the league and performed exceptionally well in his first season in Los Angeles. His likely backup will be Salyer, a 2022 sixth-round pick out of Georgia.
Corey Linsley, Will Clapp, Isaac Weaver
Linsley signed a five-year deal with the Chargers in 2021 and was worth every penny in his first season, making the Pro Bowl while giving L.A. a much-needed veteran presence on the interior. Clapp joins the Chargers after four years with New Orleans and serves as a suitable backup with 34 professional appearances and seven starts.
Zion Johnson, Brenden Jaimes
The Chargers selected Johnson with the 17th pick in the 2022 draft, and the Boston College product will likely plug in as the day one starter at right guard.
Storm Norton, Trey Pipkins III, Foster Sarell, Zack Bailey
Norton will likely plug in at right tackle after starting 15 games last year. However, Pipkins could make this a training camp competition if he can impress during the summer.
Defense (3-4 Scheme)
Jerry Tillery, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Christian Covington, Breiden Fehoko, Joe Gaziano, Morgan Fox
Joseph-Day joins the Chargers on a three-year deal. He has past experience playing for Chargers coach Brandon Staley with the Rams. Tillery recorded a career-high 4.5 sacks in 2021. Covington recorded 52 tackles and a sack last season.
Austin Johnson, Otito Ogbonnia, Andrew Brown and Forrest Merrill
Johnson was brought in on a two-year deal this offseason to help Los Angeles shore up their run defense. Johnson is fresh off of a 72-tackle season with the Giants last year and should serve as a run-plugging interior lineman. There isn’t much experience behind him, but Tillery and Covington also can play inside as well.
Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, Chris Rumph, Kyle Van Noy, Ty Shelby, Jamal Davis II
Los Angeles’ biggest offseason acquisition came when it landed Mack in a trade with the Chicago Bears. Mack’s 2021 season was cut short due to injury, but he still racked up six sacks in only seven games. At just age 31, he should have plenty left in the tank. Together, Mack and Bosa could be the best pass rushing duo in the NFL. Rumph recorded 19 tackles and a sack in limited action last season. And Van Noy brings a ton of experience and could be an outstanding situational pass rusher for Staley to utilize.
Kenneth Murray Jr., Drue Tranquill, Troy Reeder, Nick Niemann, Amen Ogbongbemiga, Cole Christiansen
The Chargers will need better play out of their inside linebackers, and getting Murray for a full season would be a great first step. Murray recorded only 31 tackles in just 11 games last season. It will be up to Murray and Tranquill to replace the production left behind by Kyzir White, who signed a one-year deal in Philadelphia. Reeder could be a key addition, as he also has familiarity with Staley’s system and recorded 91 tackles and two sacks while starting 10 games for the Rams last year.
J.C. Jackson, Michael Davis, Asante Samuel Jr., Bryce Callahan, Tevaughn Campbell, Kemon Hall, Deane Leonard, Brandon Sebastian, Ja’Sir Taylor
The Chargers made another significant move when they signed Jackson to a five-year deal worth $82.5 million. He’s picked off 17 passes the last two seasons in New England, but it’s fair to wonder how he’ll thrive now that he’s outside of Bill Belichick’s system. Samuel could be the team’s starting nickel corner and is coming off a solid rookie season in which he picked off two passes. If Samuel starts on the outside, Davis will likely be the starter opposite Jackson. The addition of Bryce Callahan gives this unit increased depth. Campbell started seven games last season.
Derwin James, Nasir Adderley, Alohi Gilman, JT Woods, Raheem Layne, Trey Marshall, Mark Webb
James is one of the game’s most versatile defensive backs and is a true playmaker at the back-end of Los Angeles’ defense. Adderley recorded the third-most tackles on the team last season. And the Chargers got solid contributions from Gilman, who started several games in relief of their injured starters.
Hopkins returns after making 18-of-20 field goals and 30-of-32 PATs in just 11 games in 2021. If he can stay healthy, he should finally add legitimacy to a position that has haunted the Chargers for years. Hopkins’ range is a question, as his two field goal misses came from 50+ yards.
Scott served as Green Bay’s punter for three seasons but played only one game for the Jaguars last year. He averaged 45.5 yards per punt in 2020 with Green Bay and also offers value as a place kicker for kickoffs.