Los Angeles Chargers March Scouting Report
As usual, the Los Angeles Chargers have been relatively quiet in terms of free-agent signings. Presumably, they will rely on the 2019 NFL draft, although that’s a risky proposition considering that they were only 2 games away from going to the Super Bowl. Let’s take a current look at the team, with a focus on filling their various needs.
QB: At 37 years of age, Chargers QB Philip Rivers is certainly closer to the end of his career than the beginning. The good news is that Rivers is continuing to play at a very high level and rarely gets injured. I would not rank quarterback among the team’s most pressing areas of need, but at some point the team will have to start looking for their "Quarterback of the Future". Not yet though. The Chargers have signed former Browns QB Tyrod Taylor to an $11,000,000 2-year contract with $6,000,000 guaranteed in the first year. Brown is fast and elusive and should be an interesting complement to Rivers. However, he is far less consistent than Rivers as a passer and while 6’1" isn’t exactly short, he won’t see the field nearly as well as the 6’5" Rivers. Overall, I like the signing, as it not only provides a much different look at the position that teams will have to prepare for, but it should allow the Bolts to focus on other more important areas of need in the draft.
RB: Between starting RB Melvin Gordon and back-ups RB Austin Ekeler and RB Justin Ekeler, the Chargers should be in fairly solid shape at running back. Don’t be surprised to see them grab a late round prospect or two, who falls into their laps, but again, not likely an area of focus as long as Gordon remains healthy.
WR: Unfortunately, the Chargers have lost former free agent WR Tyrell Williams to the Oakland Raiders. It’s my view that Williams was underrated, but you can’t hang on to everyone all of the time. The Bolts receiving corps remains in fairly good shape with WR Keenan Allen as the lead receiver, and an emerging talent in WR Mike Williams. While WR Travis Benjamin is a speedster, he’s inconsistent and approaching 30 years of age. Not a major area of focus for the team, but I can see them trying to find a solid #3 wideout with a chance to further develop and contribute.
TE: As long as he remains healthy, TE Hunter Henry has a good chance to be one of the League’s better tight ends. TE Antonio Gates may or may not return to the team. Other than Henry, no Chargers TE has a lot of fantasy potential at this time. And again, this is not an area of major focus for the team.
PK: The Chargers have lacked consistency and stability at kicker for as long as I can remember. PK Michael Badgley did a surprisingly good job last year and certainly remains the favorite to return in 2019 as the team’s starting placekicker.
DEF: The Chargers have signed former Panthers’ LB Thomas Davis to a 2-year, $10,500,000 contract. While Davis does have some talent, he’s 35 years old with a history of injuries. I don’t love the signing at all. They also re-signed LB Denzel Perryman, who has suffered some injuries here and there, but is very solid when healthy. Likely a good signing. They have further resigned DT Brandon Mebane, who is respectable but at 34 years of age, one can wonder if it might not have been a better idea to go with a younger option. I love the re-signing of S and LB Adrian Phillips, who was a very solid player and who offers tremendous versatility. The areas of Safety, Linebacker and Defensive Line should be major areas of focus for the team in this year’s draft.
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