For the third time in as many years, Pro Football Focus ranked the rosters of all 32 NFL teams. The San Diego Chargers ranked 22nd.
Top five players: CB Jason Verrett, QB Philip Rivers, CB Casey Hayward, WR Keenan Allen, LB Denzel Perryman
Starters who should be upgraded: LB Manti Te'o, OT D.J. Fluker, S Jahleel Addae, S Dwight Lowery, DE Corey Liuget
San Diego has some talent, but several starters are average at best. Verrett, for instance, is one of the league's best young corners, while Perryman was excellent against the run as a rookie. On offense, Allen is an excellent receiver and Matt Slauson should be a good acquisition at center, but there are issues in other spots. Rivers, meanwhile, just isn't capable of elevating enough players for it to matter.
Adding Joey Bosa has the potential to be a big boost for the defense, and if nothing else, cutting loose some of their poorer players can't hurt, but this is a team with a long way to go to contend in the tough AFC West.
Well, it's difficult to disagree too much with their selection of the top five players. You could maybe argue for the inclusion of Antonio Gates, but he's not the player he once was, he's never been much of a blocker, and whose place would he take?
The starters who should be upgraded list is a little more debatable. Plenty of Chargers fans don't appreciate the work that Liuget does, but it's a bit surprising that a site that prides itself on grading every single play thinks the only player on the defense that regularly commands double teams is one of the starters mot in need of replacing. Also, the inclusion of Fluker seems to assume that he won't take a step forward in his second year playing guard. That strikes me as overly pessimistic, but perhaps I'm guilty of homerism there.
The one thing that I simply can't take issue with is the idea that both safeties are in need of being replaced. Addae has been barely passable as a starter at his best and an absolute trainwreck at worst. The odds that he's going to grow into being a good or better starter are poor. As for Lowery, there's a reason that he doesn't stay anywhere very long. He's a placeholder until you can find someone better.
Overall, it's a bit depressing to think the Chargers may have gotten worse since last offseason when PFF ranked them 18th, but that's lightened somewhat by the fact that I don't agree. Tell us what you think about PFF's roster rankings in the comments.