San Diego Chargers Starters Prediction: Pre-NFL Draft

Jeff Gross

With the San Diego Chargers roster as it currently sits, who would be the starters for Mike McCoy in 2014?

I couldn't think of anything else to write. So, here I am, sitting and trying to predict which San Diego Chargers players would be the starters if the team didn't add another single player to their current roster. This will probably be the best way to find obvious holes that will need to be addressed in the first and second rounds of the NFL Draft.

(Yes, I am aware the free agency isn't over. Free agency doesn't ever really end. I am expecting a couple of more signings along the way, but signing a starter isn't very likely.)

QB: Philip Rivers
RB: Ryan Mathews
TE: Antonio Gates
TE2: Ladarius Green
WR: Keenan Allen
WR2: Eddie Royal

I would've gone with Malcom Floyd there, but who knows what his status is. I like the rest of it, although Gates as the #1 TE is still pretty scary (for defenses and for fans of the Chargers).

LT: King Dunlap
LG: Johnnie Troutman
C: Nick Hardwick
RG: Chad Rinehart
RT: D.J. Fluker

I know Jeromey Clary is still on this team, and I am well aware that you don't pay a player $6 million to sit on the bench. However, Clary is not one of the 2 best guards or one of the 2 best tackles on the team. I still predict he'll get released before the June 1 deadline.

RDE: Corey Liuget
NT: Sean Lissemore
LDE: Kendall Reyes

OLB: Melvin Ingram
ILB: Manti Te'o
ILB: Donald Butler
OLB: Jarret Johnson

Yes, I'm assuming Johnson starts ahead of Dwight Freeney. Johnson showed last year that he can (mostly) handle the rigors of a full season, and Freeney did not. Let's make Dwight a pass-rush specialist until he earns more playing time.

CB: Shareece Wright
CB2: Marcus Gilchrist
Nickel CB: Steve Williams
FS: Eric Weddle
SS: Jahleel Addae
PK: Nick Novak
P: Mike Scifres
LS: Mike Windt

Conclusions

The offensive line needs depth. If the team gets rid of Clary, that would make Mike Harris the only backup OL (unless you count Willie Smith and Kenny Wiggins). It would not surprise me to see the the team sign another free agent guard, and also use a fairly-high draft pick on a center/guard to take over for Nick Hardwick next season.

The cornerback position is deep, but the talent there is nonexistent. Nose Tackle is the same.

I've seen a lot of mock drafts picking a DE for the Chargers and replacing Kendall Reyes. At this point, he's a player that has succeeded when used one way and failed when used another. Telesco can't afford to replace him now, with all of the other holes on the team.

Inside Linebacker lacks depth. The Reggie Walker signing helps, but they'll either need to draft a LB or we'll see Jonas Mouton get one final chance to contribute to the team.

I like what the team is doing on offense. They're not building a spread-offense and handing the keys over to Philip Rivers to throw on every down. They're continuing to use Philip Rivers as a game manager, and building a strong running game that can cover up for the lack of depth at WR and lack of skill on defense. Also, most importantly, they are controlling the clock and controlling the tempo of every game they play in. Telesco isn't trying to plug the holes on a leaky boat, he's bought himself an even more powerful motor to glide over top of the water instead.

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