Yesterday, the staff weighed in on where we thought the Chargers had the most depth going into the 2017 season. Today we’ll look at where the roster is too thin.
If the Chargers injury luck doesn’t change this season, and it hits one of these positions, things could go south fast.
Cody Young - The weakest position, I think, is most definitely safety. They did sign Tre Boston, and I love Tre Boston. And I know in limited time last season (due to injury) Jahleel Addae did show some improvement in a couple of areas. But there's not much else going for them at the moment. Dexter McCoil is still very raw, Dwight Lowery was a liability last season, and they don't yet know what they have in rookie Rayshawn Jenkins. Right now the back end of the Chargers defense looks mighty thin.
Nathan - For weakest, I'll have to side with the OL. Sure, the safeties have been subpar, but never downright atrocious to the point where they bring the whole defense down. On the other hand, we've seen the numbers regarding the OL: Phil hasn't had an average line in the last ten years. For the most part, he's disguised it, but as the line falters more as Phil gets up there in age, bad things happen for the offense. Do I like the pieces they went out and got this year? Of course. But a lot of moving parts have to slot in nicely for this group to work out. Until then, it remains the weakest link.
Ryan Doyle - The weakest position is safety. I'm not the biggest Jahleel Addae fan and Dwight Lowery is not a quality starter. The addition of Tre Boston is nice, but it doesn't move the needle much. When coaches are excited about Adrian Phillips, you know there's a problem with that position group.
Kyle Posey - In a Gus Bradley defense, I'll say CB. When the inevitable injury happens to 1 of the 2 stud starters the depth behind them is disgusting. Trovon Reed flashed, but he's not scaring anyone. If Trevor Williams started hot he finished with temperatures colder than Antarctica. Desmond King will be a fine nickel corner but he's a rookie. I'll believe it when I see it with this “Baylor” dude they're hyping. That leaves Craig Mager. Hard pass.
Louis Gorini - The Chargers are extremely thin at the running back position. Melvin Gordon has significantly improved over the last year but has yet to show that he can stay healthy and finish a season. If Gordon goes down, Los Angeles is stuck with Oliver or Andre Williams as a primary back. Oliver is incapable of carrying a full workload while Andre Williams has horrible vision which is evident in his YPC.
John Gennaro - Everyone is pretty much on board with this team switching to a 4-3 base under Gus Bradley, right? In addition to making some of our favorite players somewhat expendable (sorry, Emmanuel and Jatavis), that has created a weird situation where the team needs a bunch of DTs and they don't really have any outside of Brandon Mebane (who, despite being good last year, is old). I'm out on Liuget. He stinks. If either of those two gets injured, get ready for starts for Damion Square, Caraun Reid and whatever a Kaleb Eulls is.
British Jamie - Weakest is definitely CB for me. Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward are the second best CB duo in the league behind Chris Harris and Aqib Talib, but the Broncos have Bradley Roby as their #3 and the Chargers have... somebody. It's between Trovon Reed (a WR turned CB who has almost no NFL experience), Trevor Williams (who looked worse and worse the more he was forced to play), Craig Mager (who hasn't done many positive things since being drafted and is possibly going to be cut), Desmond King (a rookie who's going to take time to adjust to the NFL) and a whole bunch of UDFAs. You know why they're hyping up Michael Davis from BYU so bad? Because they have no one else!
Richard Wade - The weakest position is still safety until proven otherwise. Jahleel Addae is better than he once was, but he still is not that good. Tre Boston is intriguing, but we don't know how he would handle a starting role. Dwight Lowery is awful. Adrian Phillips is only good during practice apparently. Dexter McCoil is interesting but unproven.
Garrett Sisti - Safety is the weakest group hands down. Jahleel Addae and Tre Boston are average to slightly above average players, Dwight Lowery is not exciting or very good, Adrian Phillips is "All-Practice Team" which does not translate to actual games, Dexter McCoil is playing the wrong position, Darrell Stuckey has become strictly a Special Teams player, Adrian McDonald might not make the 53 and we'll see what the team can get out of rookie Rayshawn Jenkins and maybe Desmond King (though I suspect he'll be the nickel corner and not safety). I sure hope the Chargers pass rush can cover up the back end of the Defense and mask some of those deficiencies.
Michael Peterson - Safety. Two mediocre starters and some new guys who haven't done a ton. This group could very well come out as one of the stronger groups by season's end but time will have to show us.
American Jamie - Safety is too easy for the position most lacking depth, which is why I'm going with RB. Melvin Gordon looks as good as ever as the lead horse in the stable, but I'm not convinced the Chargers have the right bodies behind him to run the way Anthony Lynn wants to run. There is nothing terribly special or exciting about any of the four backs competing for time behind Melvin and none of them are capable of carrying the load should he get hurt again. While the team has a number of bodies behind their former first round pick, they just don't seem to have a whole lot of viable options and that's concerning. This group needs a lot of help if they're going to allow Anthony Lynn to run the ball the way he did in Buffalo.
Matthew Stanley - I think the weakest position on the roster is OT. The Chargers grabbed Russel Okung, who is a fine starting LT, but until proven otherwise that’s where the list ends. Joseph Barksdale was awful last season. On Bleacher Report’s NFL1000 rankings, Barksdale was ranked 23rd out of 38 qualifying RT’s, which makes him below average at best. Now, if Barksdale can regain his form from the year before we’ll be looking better, however as of right now the Chargers have 1 OT on the roster who is even better than average. It’s paper thin.
What do you think? Where is the roster weakest?