Because when choosing a pic to represent the defensive line, how can you not select an Antonio Garay haircut? (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Losses: Tommie Harris
Additions: Kendall Reyes
Returning: Corey Liuget, Antonio Garay, Luis Castillo, Cam Thomas, Vaughn Martin, Jacques Cesaire, Charlie Bryant, Damik Scafe
Projected Starters: Corey Liuget, Antonio Garay, Luis Castillo
- Depth: The may be a question over the quality of the depth, but there are certainly enough players the Chargers like to cover this position for the coming season.
- Upside: Liuget, Reyes, Martin and Thomas are all young and have untapped potential. Especially Liuget and Reyes, who were both high draft picks and drafted based on upside. Castillo returns from an injury that kept him from contributing last season.
- Experience: Liuget now has a year under his belt, Castillo and Cesaire have plenty, Garay and Thomas will be playing their 4th year for the Chargers and Martin is in his 5th.
- Level of play: The play of the defensive line in 2011 could best be described as below average. Some will attribute that to a decline in performance from Garay, the absence of Castillo or Liuget not living up to being a 1st round pick. In any case, if their 2011 performance is repeated in 2012, then level of play is a definite weakness.
- Pass rush: The 3-4 defense, especially the one the Chargers run, typically don't use their defensive line to directly generate pass rush. However, you'd still expect to see a better push that causes more disruption in the pocket. That being said, the Chargers have been one of the better 3-4 teams the past two years at getting sacks from defensive linemen. 13.5 in 2010 and 11.5 in 2011. Other 3-4s rarely enter double digits.