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San Diego Chargers Pre-Draft Roster Overview

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The Draft is almost here! Here is a look at what the Chargers roster looks like before the new crop of rookies are added to the roster.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback

1. Philip Rivers

2. Kellen Clemens

3. Brad Sorensen

I'm not going to try to figure out if the trade rumors with Rivers/Tennessee are legitimate anymore, because it only results in headaches. Rivers is the best (only?) chance for the Chargers to be a playoff contender in the near future. Clemens is a solid backup.

Running Back

1. Danny Woodhead

2. Branden Oliver

3. Donald Brown

Danny Woodhead wouldn't be the team's "number one" running  back in the sense that he would carry the load, but he is the best at what he does in this group. Oliver was solid as an undrafted rookie in 2014, and Donald Brown is, well, Donald Brown. With an improved offensive line, the Bolts could probably get by with this group. However, adding a back at least in the middle rounds of this strong draft class would be wise considering all of the current running backs are unreliable for different reasons.

Wide Receivers

1. Keenan Allen

2. Malcom Floyd

3. Stevie Johnson

4. Dontrelle Inman

5. Jacoby Jones

Overall, a pretty good group. As a route-running wide receiver, Johnson is an upgrade over the departed Eddie Royal. What this group will look like in 2016 is the bigger concern for me. Floyd is in a contract year, will be 34 by the team this season starts, and quite frankly isn't a good fit for the Chargers offense anyway. The roster could use a young, speedy receiver that could provide depth in 2015 and work his way up to a bigger role in 2016.

Tight Ends

1. Antonio Gates

2. Ladarius Green

3. John Phillips

4. (Fullback) David Johnson

Antonio Gates stated this offseason that he would like to see a reduced workload. That is interesting to say the least. Considering his utter uselessness as a blocker, it's not such a bad idea. Ladarius Green will likely have a chance to have that breakout season we have all been waiting for, and in a contract year it would be perfect timing. Signs point to this being Gates' final NFL season, and if Green struggles, the Chargers will have absolutely nothing at Tight End next season. Don't rule out a mid round pick on one to develop.

Offensive Line

Starters:

  • King Dunlap
  • Orlando Franklin
  • Chris Watt
  • Johnnie Troutman
  • DJ Fluker

Reserves:

  • Chris Hairston
  • Trevor Robinson

I'm sticking with that group of seven for now because there is no way the Chargers don't add an offensive lineman in the draft. Johnnie Troutman has repeatedly proven that his spot is a backup, so this unit needs one more starter. Lucky for them, they have enough position versatility that they can add one at any position and adjust accordingly.

Defensive Lineman

1. Corey Liuget

2. Sean Lissemore

3. Ricardo Mathews

4. Kendall Reyes

5. Ryan Carrethers

6. Mitch Unrein

7. Tenny Palepoi

I didn't group these guys by position for a few reasons. One, - the Chargers do not believe they need a "true" nose tackle. Two - at least half the time they only have 2 interior defensive lineman on the field at once and the players move around quite a bit. I also don't think they will carry seven, but there is so little separating 4-7 that it is too early to narrow it down. The Chargers won't be afraid to add another body via the draft if the value is right, but I do not believe it will be a priority.

Outside Linebackers

1. Melvin Ingram

2. Jerry Attaochu

3. Tourek Williams

Again, I left this list intentionally short because it is the biggest need on the roster. San Diego needs to make up for over 1,100 snaps lost at OLB from Dwight Freeney and Jarret Johnson.  Ingram and Attaochu wouldn't be a bad starting pair, but there is no evidence to support that either can stay healthy. I am also not excited about the idea of Tourek Williams as the team's 3rd best edge rusher. Given the importance and scarcity of the position, as well as the depth of the upcoming draft, there is no question that this should be the position that Tom Telesco should be targeting in round one.

Inside Linebackers

1. Manti Te'o

2. Donald Butler

3. Kavell Conner

Donald Butler's contract has prevented the Chargers from releasing him, but there is no way he can be as bad as he was in 2014, right? I mean, right? Someone please say yes.

Cornerbacks

1. Brandon Flowers

2. Jason Verrett

3. Patrick Robinson

4. Steve Williams

5. Chris Davis

Nothing to complain about here. Brandon  Flowers was one of the best corners in the league last year, and Verrett may have been even better if he hadn't struggled with injuries. If the top 2 stay relatively healthy, the Chargers will have an excellent secondary. Patrick Robinson is already better than Shareece Wright if he knows not to tackle opposing receivers before they catch the ball.

Safeties

1. Eric Weddle

2. Jahleel Addae

3. Jimmy Wilson

4. Adrian Philips

Eric Weddle added to the offseason drama by not showing up to voluntary workouts because of his unhappiness playing with one year left on his deal. However, I don't see how he isn't on the field (an one of the best safeties in the NFL) in 2015. Newcomer Jimmy Wilson has experience in the safety/cornerback hybrid role that Marcus Gilchrist played in San Diego, and will likely compete with Addae for the starting gig next to Weddle.

That is pretty much it. I know it does not add up to the full roster, but these are the guys I still expect to be in the mix for a roster spot once the draft and post-draft free agency ends. Now the real fun begins!