2012 San Diego Chargers: Predicting the 53-Man Roster

Corey Lynch and Darrell Stuckey battle to take down Jacob Hester. But, are they battling each other for a roster spot? Or is there room for both? (Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE)

The San Diego Chargers haven't even played a preseason game yet, but so many are curious as to who will be on the final roster. John Gennaro highlighted the camp battles, but I'm sure a lot of you want to know who will win those battles.

So far, all we have to go on are previous roles, the promises implied by high draft picks and free agent deals, the little tid bits written about by local reporters and some insight from myself and John Gennaro after attending practices. That seems like enough to at least get close, right? Check it out after the jump.


Starters: Philip Rivers

Backups: Charlie Whitehurst

Key Cuts: Kevin O'Connell, Jarrett Lee (PS)

Position Total: 2

Running Total: 2

Easy decisions here assuming that Whitehurst is ready to go at the start of the season. The Chargers will attempt to sneak Lee on to the Practice Squad and hope that history doesn't repeat itself. Last year, the team hoped to do the same with Scott Tolzien, but the 49ers snatched him up.

Running Backs

Starters: Ryan Mathews, LeRon McLain

Backups: Ronnie Brown, Jacob Hester

Key Cuts: Jackie Battle, Curtis Brinkley, Edwin Baker, Michael Hayes (PS)

Position Total: 4

Running Total: 6

Jackie Battle is a bit of a tough cut since we don't know how he fits in the special teams picture. The preseason games will give us a better idea as to whether it is Michael Hayes or Edwin Baker who gets sent to the Practice Squad. So far Hayes is in the lead despite going undrafted.

Wide Receivers

Starters: Malcom Floyd, Robert Meachem

Backups: Eddie Royal, Vincent Brown, Micheal Spurlock

Key Cuts: Roscoe Parrish, Richard Goodman, Mike Willie (PS)

Position Total: 5

Running Total: 11

The feeling among some is that Spurlock leads the way in the competition for kick returner and 5th WR. How these players play on the punt coverage unit could make a difference as well and we'll look for that in the preseason games. I have Mike Willie going to the PS since he was the most highly regard undrafted free agent signing. However, Tayler Embree has a shot at that PS spot as well. Phillip Payne didn't look to bad when I saw him practice either; something else to watch in preseason.

Tight Ends

Starters: Antonio Gates

Backups: Randy McMichael, Dante Rosario, Ladarius Green

Key Cuts: Kory Sperry

Position Total: 4

Running Total: 15

Word on the street (or the Twitters) is that the Chargers like all 4 of these TEs. Keeping 4 also means that the promising rookie Green will end up inactive for much of the season.

Offensive Line

Starters: Jared Gaither, Tyronne Green, Nick Hardwick, Louis Vasquez, Jeromey Clary

Backups: Mike Harris, Colin Baxter, Rex Hadnot, Mario Henderson

Key Cuts: Stephen Schilling, David Molk (PS), Brandyn Dombrowski (IR)

Position Total: 9

Running Total: 24

Schilling was the last guy I decided would be cut. Hadnot is more versatile and it's unlikely the team carries 10 OL. Molk is ticketed for the Practice Squad here, but he has a chance to beat out Baxter for the backup C spot.

Defensive Line

Starters: Corey Liuget, Antonio Garay, Vaughn Martin

Backups: Jacques Cesaire, Aubrayo Franklin, Cam Thomas, Kendall Reyes

Key Cuts: None

Position Total: 7

Running Total: 31

Basically, it seems to me the Chargers keep all of their DL candidates. There are others in camp, but they don't really have a shot. Reyes probably sees a lot of time on the inactive list while one of the DTs plays a bit at DE throughout the season (Garay?). Melvin Ingram is also supposed to rotate in from time to time.


Starters: Shaun Phillips, Takeo Spikes, Donald Butler, Jarret Johnson

Backups: Antwan Barnes, Melvin Ingram, Demorrio Williams, Jonas Mouton, Andrew Gachkar, Larry English

Key Cuts: Darryl Gamble, Bront Bird

Position Total: 10

Running Total: 41

Everybody loved Gamble last year during the preseason, but there's just no room at the inn if everyone stays healthy (and for now, even English is practicing). Gachkar seems a bit vulnerable, but I think he's a key cog on special teams. If he can show he's a real backup at ILB and Mouton shows he's ready after missing last year with a shoulder injury, then maybe Williams is a roster cut casualty.


Starters: Quentin Jammer, Antoine Cason

Backups: Shareece Wright, Marcus Gilchrist

Key Cuts: None

Position Total: 4

Running Total: 45

Keeping 4 CBs is pretty scary, but there's no viable candidates. When I attended practice Gregory Gatson got thrown at a lot since a couple CBs sat out that practice. Maybe he's a Practice Squad candidate.


Starters: Eric Weddle, Atari Bigby

Backups: Brandon Taylor, Corey Lynch, Darrell Stuckey

Position Total: 5

Running Total: 50

Much like at tight end, the rumblings are that the team carries an extra player here. Lynch is that "extra guy", but he's also a good Special Teams player. Is someone else here vulnerable?

Special Teams

Kicker: Nate Kaeding

Punter: Mike Scifres

Long Snapper: Mike Windt

Key Cuts: Nick Novak

The only controversy here is Kaeding vs. Novak. I'm inclined to believe the team still loves Kaeding until I'm proven otherwise.

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