Los Angeles Chargers April Scouting Report
As the Chargers head towards the 2019 NFL Draft, as expected, they’ve made only a very few mostly insignificant free agent moves that we’ve already discussed. This report will discuss the team’s needs, as well as the current presumed starters and playmakers.
QB: As you likely know, QB Philip Rivers remains the starter and is expected to have another strong fantasy season in 2019. While Rivers is getting older, he continues to play at a very high level and is rarely injured. At some point, the team will look for Rivers’ replacement, but that doesn’t appear to be a priority at present. There are some rumors that the team could be interested in trading for Arizona QB Josh Rosen, but personally I doubt that will occur, as Rivers likely has at least 3-4 seasons left. But it is a possibility, albeit an unlikely one.
RB: The Chargers have one of the better rushers in the League in starter RB Melvin Gordon. Further, they likely feel reasonably good about backups RB Austin Eleker and RB Justin Jackson, who are solid but not in Gordon’s class. Again, this is not an area of particular concern for the team, but a mid-to-late round pick shouldn’t come as a shock if the right player is available. Still, I don’t that the team will reach for a running back.
WR: Wide receiver is another area where the team seems to be in pretty good shape. WR Keenan Allen is young and outstanding, although somewhat fragile. WR Mike Williams is a big-bodied 6-4 220 lb wideout who has big upside and is showing much progress. The loss of WR Tyrell Williams to free agency definitely hurts. WR Travis Benjamin is a speedster, but pushing 30 years of age and showing a lot of inconsistency, I’m still not sold on the guy. Maybe he’ll get more looks with T. Williams gone, but don’t hold your breath. Again, not a major area of need, but later round picks wouldn’t surprise.
TE: Chargers TE Hunter Henry is not only a heck of a talent but I’ve met him and he’s truly a nice guy. While he missed 2018 with injury, he should be healthy and poised to put up big numbers in 2019. TE Antonio Gates may or may not return, but should not be a major factor. TE Virgil Green won’t be much of a fantasy factor either. Again, don’t see much need here as long as Henry can remain healthy.
PK: The Chargers have shown considerable inconsistency at the place kicker position over the past 5+ years, but PK Michael Badgley actually did a pretty respectable job for the team. Expect him to return, to start and to post above average numbers.
DEF: Other than at offensive line, most of the need will surrounds the team’s defense and in particular, their lack of depth. I was glad to see that they allowed fragile CB Jason Verrett to go to SF in free agency. Don’t get me wrong, when healthy he is possibly one of the better corners out there. But he has a slight build and cannot stay healthy. Good talent and skills, but far too risky. Time to move on. Look for the Bolts to select many defensive players with early draft picks. Emphasis should be on the interior defensive line and at corner and safety. They could also use some beefing up at linebacker, but will fill some needs at that position with later round draft picks. However, expect to see the team use their early draft picks to fill big holes at the interior defensive line and defensive secondary positions.
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