In this series we take a look at 12 players for the San Diego Chargers who are 25 or younger and who could be considered foundational or impact players.
Player: DE Corey Liuget
The skinny: We save the best for last and take a closer look at Liuget. Selected No. 18 overall in the 2011 draft out of the University of Illinois, Liuget has developed into one of the better interior defensive lineman in the NFL with the Chargers. Liuget has proved durable, missing just one game in his NFL career. He led the team in sacks in 2013 with 5.5. According to team statistics, Liuget finished with 10 tackles for loss, 18 quarterback hits and four pass deflections.
Reason for optimism: At 6-2 and 300 pounds, Liuget has shown he can be an effective, every-down interior defensive lineman, playing stout against the run in early downs and a disruptive pass-rusher in passing situations. Liuget's unique skillset offers versatility for Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano, who likes to shift between even and odd fronts depending on the situation. Liuget can move up and down the line and still make an impact, making it hard for offensive lines to prepare for him.
Reason for concern: Durability. Liuget has played an average of 685 plays the past two seasons, or 70 percent of San Diego’s defensive snaps. Less is more for Liuget. The Chargers only have six interior defensive lineman currently on the roster, and no real replacement for Liuget should he suffer a serious injury. So San Diego needs to find a serviceable replacement for Liuget and cut down on his reps for the upcoming season. San Diego already picked up Liuget’s fifth-year option at nearly $7 million for the 2015 season. Now general manager Tom Telesco has to begin working on an extension that keeps Liuget in the fold long term. Protect your investment.