SAN DIEGO -- The Los Angeles Chargers are scheduled to host a rookie minicamp from May 12-14 and start organized team activities on May 16.
The Chargers didn’t make any trades during this year’s draft, adding seven draft picks and 15 undrafted rookie free agents.
However, the new acquisitions put the Chargers at 92 players, so they have to make a couple moves to get down to 90.
Obviously, this roster will change throughout the offseason and up until training camp. For now, the list below provides a good snapshot of where the team stands at each position.
“We’re all happy right now,” Chargers GM Tom Telesco told ESPN’s NFL Live, when asked about the roster. “We'll get them on the field for minicamps, and then training camp, and see who can earn a role and win a job.”
That said, I thought we should take a first look at the team’s 90-man roster.
CURRENT ROSTER (92 players)
The skinny: For a second straight year, the Chargers did extensive work but did not select a developmental quarterback in the draft. However, they did sign an undrafted rookie in Eli Jenkins out of Jacksonville State. And head coach Anthony Lynn said he likes what he has seen so far in Bercovici, who was with the team in training camp last year. “He moves the ball up and down the field,” Lynn said about Bercovici. “He understands the offense. He has a ways to go, don’t get me wrong, but I think he brings something to the table those other two don’t have because he’s a little more mobile. And he can get out of the pocket and do some things as well. I like some of his traits and intangibles.”
The skinny: After a bounce-back second year I’m interested to see how Gordon continues to develop as more of a focal point of the Chargers’ offense in his third season. Williams should be given an opportunity to earn a role as Gordon’s backup on early downs. And I would expect Barner and Oliver to duke it out for the third-down role left vacant by the departure of Danny Woodhead. Overall, it’s a solid group.
Receivers (12): Starters -- Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams. Reserves -- Dontrelle Inman, Mike Williams, Isaiah Burse, Jamaal Jones, Da’Ron Brown, Geremy Davis, Andre Patton, Artavis Scott, Dontre Wilson.
The skinny: Because of the talent and production already on the roster, the Chargers have the luxury of taking their time to develop Mike Williams. However, I’m sure offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt will find a role in the offense for the Clemson product like he did with Hunter Henry last season. At 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Davis is another player to watch at the back end of the roster.
The skinny: With Gates and Henry, tight end is one of the strongest positions on offense. McGrath did a nice job of carving out a role as a run-blocker last season. The addition of Cumberland, who is coming back from an Achilles tendon tear, adds more athleticism to the position group.
Offensive line (16): Starters -- LT Russell Okung, LG Orlando Franklin, C Spencer Pulley, RG Matt Slauson, RT Joe Barksdale. Reserves -- G Forrest Lamp, C Max Tuerk, T Chris Hairston, G-T Kenny Wiggins, T Tyreek Burwell, G Dan Feeney, G Donavon Clark, T Brett Boyko, T Sam Tevi, T Mason Zandi, C Dillon Deboer.
The skinny: First off, the projected starting five will change with the addition of Lamp and Feeney. But I would like to see everyone on the field first before slotting those two into the starting lineup. My guess is Lamp will start out at left guard, but we’ll see how the offense lines up in a few weeks. Overall, Telesco did a nice job of upgrading the talent level of this group after standing pat last year.
Defensive line (14): Starters -- DE Joey Bosa, DT Corey Liuget, NT Brandon Mebane, LEO Melvin Ingram. Reserves -- NT Ryan Carrethers, DT Tenny Palepoi, DE Darius Philon, NT Damion Square, DT Caraun Reid, DE Isaac Rochell, DT Zamir Carlis, DT Kaleb Eulls, LEO Jeremiah Attaochu, LEO Chris Landrum.
The skinny: The Chargers should have one of the better defensive fronts in the NFL if everyone plays to their potential. Having Bosa for a full season should be big, and players like Square, Palepoi, Philon and Reid should be solid rotational players up front. Attaochu and Landrum provide good depth at edge rusher.
Linebackers (11): Starters -- Kyle Emanuel (strongside), Denzel Perryman (middle), Jatavis Brown (weakside). Reserves -- ILB Nick Dzubnar, ILB Joshua Perry, ILB Nigel Harris, ILB Mike Moore, ILB James Onwualu, LB Korey Toomer, LB Carlos Fields, LB Chris McCain .
The skinny: We’ll see how this group adjusts to a 4-3 alignment. Perryman will be the defensive playcaller and says he feels comfortable in that role. Toomer provides versatility, with his ability to play both inside and outside. Someone to watch for on the back end of the roster is Notre Dame product Onwualu, a former receiver who converted to linebacker in college.
The skinny: I’m somewhat surprised the Chargers did not select a safety early in the draft, but both Jenkins and King have a chance to contribute if they can pick up things quickly. Addae has to figure out a way to stay on the field for 16 games this season.
The skinny: The Chargers did not select a corner in this year’s draft, an indication they like young players on the roster like Mager, Reed and Williams. Like Addae, Verrett needs to stay healthy for the defense to perform at a high level.
The skinny: Lambo is talented but seemed to perform better when he had a competition two years ago with Nick Novak -- hence, the addition of Koo. Barner and Burse should be in the mix in the competition at returner. Re-signing Windt in free agency adds stability to this young group.