COSTA MESA, Calif. -- The search for an eventual replacement for Philip Rivers begins in earnest for the Los Angeles Chargers this week, as general manager Tom Telesco, coach Anthony Lynn and the rest of the decision-makers are expected to head down to Mobile, Alabama, the home for this year’s Senior Bowl.
Players arrived on Sunday and will be poked and prodded in front of NFL evaluators on Monday -- ahead of practices beginning on Tuesday. The game will take place on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and will be aired on NFL Network.
A quarterback the Chargers will not get a look at this week is Oklahoma State signal-caller Mason Rudolph, who’s out with a foot injury.
Here are some Senior Bowl prospects who could make sense. You can also check out our ESPN Insider Senior Bowl primer.
QB Josh Allen, Wyoming: NFL evaluators will like Allen’s 6-foot-5, 233-pound frame and his arm. However, Allen’s career 56.1 completion percentage in college is worrisome. Allen does have an advantage of playing in a pro-style offense at Wyoming.
OT Desmond Harrison, West Georgia: Harrison withdrew from Texas after being suspended for the 2014 season and did not play football in 2015 or 2016, signing with West Georgia for the 2017 season. But at 6-6 and 295 pounds, Harrison has the length, frame and athleticism to develop into a functional offensive tackle in the NFL.
QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma: This year’s Heisman Trophy recipient also received the 2017 Manning Award as the nation’s top quarterback for his impressive final season at Oklahoma. NFL evaluators will be interested to know Mayfield’s true height, along with getting to know the personality of the feisty quarterback after some of his antics on the field. Mayfield’s 68.5 career completion percentage and 131 touchdown passes in college are hard to overlook.
LB Uchenna Nwosu, USC: Nwosu is an athletic edge player who likely projects as a Leo defensive end in defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s scheme. He doesn’t drop much in coverage, but Nwosu has a nose for the football. He finished with 75 tackles, including 11.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks and 13 pass knock downs in his final season for the Trojans. At 6-2 and 240 pounds, Nwosu also served as a defensive caption at USC.
OT Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh: A former tight end, at 6-6 and 305 pounds, O’Neill can play either tackle position and should show well in pass-rushing drills. He has a chance to go in the first round, depending on his performance this week and during testing at the NFL combine.
RB Rashaad Penny, San Diego State: He led FBS in total rushing yards (2,248) and yards per game (172.9). Penny finished with 23 rushing touchdowns and played in a pro-style offense for the Aztecs. His ability to returns punts and kicks should be attractive to NFL scouts.
CB Darius Phillips, Western Michigan: Phillips finished with 12 career interceptions, including five returned for touchdowns. He also flashed as a returner, with five career kickoffs returned for scores, along with a punt return for a touchdown.
DT Harrison Phillips, Stanford: Harrison is a playmaker who totaled 98 tackles, including 17.5 tackles for loss, and 7.5 sacks for the Cardinal last season as a 3-4 nose tackle. But his size (6-4, 295 pounds) is a concern.