Out with the old, in with the new.
The NFL Draft signifies change and hope for NFL teams and fans. However, that isn’t always the case with the players currently on the roster. For them, it means that there is now someone trying to take their job.
As the rookies head to the practice field, there are a handful of players that need to show considerable improvement or the rookies are going to take their roster spots.
The Chargers added arguably the best wideout in the draft in Mike Williams and addressed needs along the offensive line. The Bolts also added a pair of defensive backs that have a chance to push for starting spots during training camp.
Chargers fans cannot forget the undrafted rookies either. It seems like every year, general manager Tom Telesco strikes gold and finds an undrafted player who becomes a major contributor.
Here’s a look at a few players that may fall down the depth chart, or get cut.
Orlando Franklin and Kenny Wiggins
Arguably the biggest free agent flop of Tom Telesco’s tenure, Orlando Franklin signed a 5-year, $36.5 million contract in 2015.
Up to this point, Franklin has been a shell of himself. Constantly looking overmatched and sluggish, Franklin has made the rest of the offensive line’s job much harder.
The Chargers sent a message to Franklin by drafting Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney on day two of the draft and it might signal the end for Franklin in L.A.
Lamp and Feeney have a serious chance of starting come week one and with Franklin’s cap number, it doesn’t make much sense to keep him around.
Although he has been a backup for the Chargers for a while now, Kenny Wiggins probably won’t be on the roster next year. The two rookies should get most of the reps on the inside.
Plus, Wiggins has Donavon Clark and Spencer Pulley to compete with too.
It’s fair to say that Darrell Stuckey should be nervous about his role on the team. Of course, he is a tremendous special teams player, but he isn’t an NFL safety.
The Chargers drafted safety Rayshawn Jenkins in the fourth round and he will probably be gifted the primary backup safety role. The Bolts also drafted Desmond King, who’s role is still unclear, but could easily see time at safety.
For whatever reason, the Chargers seem to like Adrian Phillips as well. Making Stuckey the fifth or sixth safety, which isn’t worth having on the final 53.
There is also the new coaching staff that may not feel obligated to keep the career Charger around.
Cornerbacks (Not named Jason Verrett or Casey Hayward)
In the fifth round, the Chargers selected Iowa’s Desmond King in what many felt was an absolute steal at that spot.
King does have his concerns, especially his speed, he only ran a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash. Still, he can easily challenge for the starting nickel corner spot.
2015 third-round pick Craig Mager hasn’t been productive and Trovon Reed and Trevor Williams are mysteries. It’s not out of the question for King to jump all three of and win the slot corner job in camp.
Defensive Line Depth
Even though he is a seventh round pick, Isaac Rochell is going to have a chance to win a roster spot along the defensive line.
Right now, Joey Bosa, Corey Liuget, and Brandon Mebane are going to make the team. Then there are a bunch of players that can win jobs as backups.
Tenny Palepoi, Caraun Reid, and Damion Square highlight the most likely candidates. Although these guys are the front runners, Rochell just has to put together a solid camp and a few nice preseason performances to snag a job.
Chris Hairston and Tyreek Burwell
The swing tackles on the Chargers are Tyreek Burwell and Chris Hairston. The Chargers drafted Utah’s Sam Tevi, creating a three-man battle for the swing tackle job.
For a few years now, Hairston has been the guy, but adding Tevi to the mix could change things.
Wide Receiver Depth
At this point, there are five receivers who are going to make this team.
First-round pick Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, Travis Benjamin, Dontrelle Inman, and Tyrell Williams.
Out of those five guys, only two realistically might be going somewhere else, maybe via trade. Those guys are Benjamin and Inman. Now, there is no sign that the Bolts want to move them, but having all of this talent at receiver is rare.
If the Chargers decide to keep all five of the aforementioned wideouts, that leaves only one spot left at receiver, if that.
This may be the end of the line for Javontee Herndon, Isaiah Burse, and Geremy Davis.
Alright, this one is a little crazy, but Younghoe Koo has to get a serious look in training camp. Look what this guy can do...
The undrafted free agent out of Georgia Southern is going to make for good competition.
Obviously, Lambo has done a solid job as the Chargers kicker, but he shouldn’t forget that he was in Koo’s position only a few years ago. When Lambo shocked Chargers fans by winning the kicking job over Nick Novak.
Who loves kicking battles? There might be one brewing in Los Angeles.