The Chargers have long been THE team in the NFL when it comes to making the most out of their undrafted free agents. I mean, they had one of the best players in NFL history come through their franchise in Antonio Gates and most-recently had seven different former undrafted players play a significant amount of snaps in 2019. One of those players actually has the inside track for a starting job this season, and another is in the hunt for one, as well.
So every year, when the Chargers announce their haul of UDFAs following the end of the draft, it’s one of the most enjoyable times for me as I get to dive into the group knowing there’s an almost 100% chance that one of these players will make the final 53-man roster.
Who do I think will make it this year? Well, let’s get into it, shall we?
DE Joe Gaziano
Gaziano is listed at 275 pounds for the Wildcats but he looks like he’s got a bit more mass on his frame than that. The all-time career sack leader at Northwestern obviously hopes to land a spot with the Chargers and I think he’s got one of the better chances outside of the three potential fullbacks signed by the team.
He racked up a lot of sacks in college and almost solely used his strength and power while rushing the passer. You’re not going to get a lot of finesse out of Gaziano but it’s doesn’t matter because the numbers speak for themselves. I like his chances of making the team because of the versatility his skill-set allows. He’s a broad, big-bodied guy who wins with power which means he could probably stand to play a little more inside if he adds a little extra weight. Former tackle Damion Square never weighed much more than 290 while he was with the team and I think this guy has a chance to do the same.
The Chargers are fairly thin along the interior and I think Gaziano could offer enough flexibility along the line to allow the team to use a roster spot on another area of need knowing you could play most of the positions along the front.
Fullback Bobby Holly or Gabe Nabers
I love both of these guys and would be extremely excited to have either of them make the final roster. Both play a position of need for the Chargers and they both excel in different ways.
For instance, at 6’1 and 250 pounds, Holly looks like the second coming of Lorenzo Neal when you see him grinding defenders into the dirt on tape while wearing the #41. At 6’3 and 232 pounds, Nabers looks like your new-school fullback/H-back that can line up in a number of different formations and is equally inept in blocking or catching the football.
BOBBY HOLLY JUST GO OFF ON EM SIR pic.twitter.com/LuMFcf65jU— Jason Balliet II (@Syntari13) April 28, 2020
For those of you who prefer the old-school, hit them harder than they hit you-type fullback, Holly is going to be more your flavor. Nabers showed some more receiving chops but even that sample size was a bit small. He caught 15 passes this past season for 221 yards and a pair of scores.
My final opinion on the two is that I actually want both on the team. Seriously. The types of players they are, I think both would thrive whether it’s special teams or on the offense. In the end, at least one of these guys is making the roster because we all know Anthony Lynn wants to run the ball and one of these guys will help the team do just that.
OLB Jessie Lemonier
Finally, I think the former Liberty pass-rusher has the next best chance of making this team for his high motor and ability to play the LEO. Right now, Melvin Ingram is the starter there with Uchenna Nwosu waiting in the wings. If the Bolts decide to not re-sign Ingram this coming offseason, the 6’3, 240-pound Lemonier is built just right to invest in as a developmental piece for the future.
As a senior in 2019, Lemonier totaled 80 tackles, 15.5 tackles-for-loss, and 10.5 sacks with a forced fumble. He was named the MVP of the team’s bowl game after a multi-sack performance.
He also has experience playing from a two- and three-point stance. With the way he was asked to play for Liberty, I think he’ll have a very smooth transition to the LEO spot should he be given the chance.