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Final 53-man Roster Projections prior to first round of cuts

Here’s my last look at the best 53 before the cuts start rolling in.

NFL: San Diego Chargers-Rookie Minicamp Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Cuts should be starting any minute for the Chargers so here is my last quick look at who I think makes the 53 at this point. If you want to take a look at what my prediction looked like last time, you can find that here.

Let’s jump right in.

Quarterbacks - 3

Philip Rivers, Kellen Clemens, Mike Bercovici

Sadly I think they decide to keep 3 QBs. I think they are scared that Berc might not make it to the practice squad so they keep him on the roster because it appears it would have taken a Dak Prescott type performance for Berc to jump Clemens

Runningbacks - 3

Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead, Kenneth Farrow/Donald Brown

Absolutely terrible to have lost Branden Oliver for the season this week. To fill that hole I would not be surprised at all if Telesco called up Donald Brown and brought him back. If they decide they want young blood, I think they keep Farrow as he has been a little more consistent than Dreamius Smith.

Fullback - 1

Derek Watt

As much as I want to see Chris Swain get his chance, I just don’t see this team doing it. They’ll keep their 6th round pick and maybe put the Swain Train on the practice squad.

Tight End - 3

Antonio Gates, Hunter Henry, Sean McGrath

Keeping 3 QBs they’ll have to make a cut somewhere, and I think that falls here. They will only keep 3 TE’s and stash one of the others like Matt Wieser on the PS.

Wide Receivers - 5

Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin, Tyrell Williams, Dontrelle Inman, James Jones

The team appears to still be in love with Inman so he will get to stay. I’m tempted to put Isaiah Burse here over Jones for the last spot since the team’s best kick returner is now out for the season, however, Craig Mager has shown enough that I think they’ll be comfortable using him there and keep the better WR.

Offensive Line - 9

King Dunlap, Orlando Franklin, Matt Slauson, D.J. Fluker, Joe Barksdale, Spencer Pulley, Max Tuerk, Chris Hairston, Tyreek Burwell (Chris Watt on PUP)

So technically they keep 10, but Chris Watt being on the PUP means he doesn’t count against the roster, he just will be unavailable for at least the first 6 games of the season. With the versatility of Tuerk, Slauson, and Pulley to play any of the 3 inside positions, I think they keep 2 backup tackles until Watt comes back.

Offensive Total - 24

Defensive Line - 7

Corey Liuget, Darius Philon, Brandon Mebane, Joey Bosa, Damion Square, Ryan Carrethers, FA, FA

Bosa is going to sign before the season, and that’s all I’ll say about that. I think they have to bring in a couple Free Agents to add to the mix here, after these 6 names, and maybe even just the first 5 as Carrethers has not looked great this preseason, there is a huge drop-off. I think they also bring in a short term FA while Square serves his suspension. This is a position that needs some help.

Outside Linebackers - 4

Melvin Ingram, Kyle Emanuel, Jeremiah Attaochu, Tourek Williams

This is a hard one. With how many outside linebackers they brought in through the course of this offseason, and the fact that they run so many 2 defensive lineman formations, I’m very tempted to keep 5 OLBs and only 4 safeties. If they do, I think Ben Gardner makes the team. But for now, I’m sticking with 4 and Tourek is the final spot.

Inside Linebackers - 5

Manti Te’o, Denzel Perryman, Joshua Perry, Jatavis Brown, Nick Dzubnar

We have yet to see Brown this preseason in game action, but based on his college tape and how he looked in practice, not to mention the fact that he was a 5th round pick, he will make the roster. Dzubnar keeps his spot for special teams help.

Cornerbacks - 5

Jason Verrett, Brandon Flowers, Casey Hayward, Craig Mager, Steve Williams

These have been the best 5 corners on the roster since camp started and I haven’t seen anything to change my mind. Mager gets some added value in that his special teams play has improved this offseason and he has been pretty decent as a kick returner.

Safeties - 5

Jahleel Addae, Dwight Lowery, Dexter McCoil, Adrian Phillips, Darrell Stuckey

I almost had Stuckey being my “surprise cut” but I think he’s too valuable on special teams and the Chargers have their whole commitment to people that have been around a while. McCoil has just been too good to even think about trying to stash on the practice squad. If we’re being honest, he should be starting. Phillips had a good final audition against the Vikings and I think showed enough to stay. Sorry Garrett, but I think we’ll have to wait until next year to see the McSafeties on the field together.

Defensive total - 26

Special teams - 3

Josh Lambo, Mike Windt, Drew Kaser

Kaser has really come on in the last 2 games, his punts have good hang time, they are dying inside the 10, he’s looking great. Lambo looks calm and collected on all his kicks and ready to pick up where he left off last year. Mike Windt is reliable, and that's all you can ask.

I won’t do a PS prediction this time around, I’ll add that back in after the final game.