It’s San Diego no more as it is now officially the Los Angeles Chargers. The newest LA franchise has a brand new logo and new coach to kick off the relaunch. Quarterback Philip Rivers doesn’t seem too thrilled with the move which could become a bad omen for the franchise. Anthony Lynn is the head coach with the Chargers but has primarily been a running back coach in the NFL. I wrote earlier in the offseason how this hire likely won’t work. Then again I was dead wrong about Joey Bosa who has since become a star. Fresh off a 5-11 season, can the Chargers win enough to win the fans over in their new city?
3 Position Battles To Watch:
- Guard: Matt Slausen, Dan Feeney
The Chargers posted one of the worst offensive lines in football a year ago and clearly weren’t happy with this unit. In rounds two and three, the Chargers selected Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney. Lamp figures to plug and play on one side but there is a guard controversy. Slausen has been reliable but isn’t the long term answer. I’m not high on Feeney at all and called him a potential bust in my draft coverage.
2. Defensive Tackle: Brandon Mebane, Damion Square
Brandon Mebane came over from Seattle a year ago and played his part on the defensive line. An average stat line of 21 tackles and 1 sack makes him an average player. Damion Square has started emerging as a former Alabama product picking up 2.5 sacks for the Chargers a year ago. Now Square could take the leap in taking over a starting job. Square adds more pass rush while Mebane could be more of the run stuffer.
3. Safety: Dwight Lowery, Rayshawn Jenkins, Tre Boston, Darrell Stucky
Jahleel Addae feels safe at one spot but the other is very much up for grabs. Dwight Lowery spent most of the year as the starter a year ago but was vulnerable to giving up big plays. As he ages into his 30s, other young players could steal the job away. Rayshawn Jenkins comes to town as a fourth round pick from Miami. Boston comes to LA as a defection from Carolina who had his moments with the Panthers.
Ready To Breakout: Casey Hayward
Many people don’t realize that Hayward actually had 7 interceptions a year ago. Despite being one of the best corners in the league, no one paid attention to him because of the losing record. Hayward was an offseason pickup from the Packers a year ago that has since paid dividends. Look for Hayward to build on the momentum and get the recognition he deserves.
Rookie To Watch: Mike Williams
There are some injury question marks with Williams but there’s no denying that he can play. It was speculated that he would miss the season but that apparently is fake news. Williams did break his neck in college which concerned me but was still the top receiver on my board. With any Clemson receiver, Williams is big and can win in the red zone. He is a perfect fit next to Keenan Allen.
Fantasy Sleeper: Hunter Henry
Henry played second fiddle to Antonio Gates early in the season but quickly proved to be the better option down the stretch. The second year pro from Arkansas is now coming into his own as a catch first tight end. Gates will likely concede playing time to the former 2nd round pick who looks ready now. Henry quietly caught 8 touchdowns as a rookie on limited playing time.