Chargers' defensive front stepping up

SAN DIEGO -- One of the early impressions from visiting San Diego Chargers is the potential the team has on the defensive line.

This unit has a chance to be good in 2012 and terrific in the future. The line is one of San Diego’s deepest areas and it has a chance to set the tone for much improved overall play by the defense. What stands out about the group is the mixture of youth and veteran experience. This is a unit that can offer a lot of different looks and personnel sets.

A player who has been a standout is second-round pick Kendall Reyes. While it is early, all indications are the Chargers have potentially found something special in Reyes.

The Connecticut product has fit right into camp and does not look overmatched so far. He has a combination of pass-rushing and run-stuffing ability that gives him the chance to be a complete player for a long time. While he has yet to prove anything, I think the Chargers feel comfortable playing him right away.

The team also feels good about 2011 first-round pick Corey Liuget. They think he will make strides under new defensive coordinator John Pagano. Along with 2012 first-round pick Melvin Ingram, who will play some on the line, but will also be a rush linebacker, the Chargers have a terrific young building blocks on the edge. They also feel good about youngsters Cam Thomas and Vaughn Martin on the line.

San Diego’s depth and talent on the defensive line is not relegated to the youth, though. The team is thrilled about recent signing Aubrayo Franklin because of the depth it creates at nose tackle. Thomas, Franklin and veteran Antonio Garay will rotate and will give the Chargers a lot of strength in the middle of the line.

If we see a vast improvement on defense in San Diego, a major reason may be because of the front three.