On Thursday morning, NFL.com writer Gregg Rosenthal took a shot at predicting the starting line-ups for all four teams in the AFC West, starting with the Denver Broncos and finishing with the Chargers.
Check out his predictions for the Bolts below:
Immediately, there are a handful of things that stand out to me.
First off, Rosenthal has Andre Patton winning the WR3 job. As I highlighted in my recent position battle piece, I have Patton right there in the mix but mentioned that his chance of winning the job is likely still behind those of the two rookies the Bolts drafted last month.
He also mentions how the Bolts still lack depth on offense, even with the plethora of weapons surrounding the quarterback, saying “The Chargers are an injury or two away from being talent-poor, and the Chargers usually get more than an injury or two.”
On the flip side of the ball, you can see that Rosenthal believes Drue Tranquill will wrestle the starting MIKE job away from Denzel Perryman. This is probably the ideal situation as Perryman has long been held back by injuries the last few years and it’s high-time the Chargers commit to a young leader in the middle of the defense.
Another thing to note on the defense is that Rosenthal predicts the starting three corners to be Casey Hayward, Chris Harris, and Desmond King. While these are the Chargers’ best corners in general, Michael Davis is likely the guy playing opposite Hayward while Harris will dominate the slot and King gets moved around the defense in various sub-packages.
Back to the offense, Rosenthal gave the nod to Sam Tevi at left tackle, which very well might be the case if the Bolts don’t sign Jason Peters or another veteran prior to the season. It’s been recorded on more than one occasion already, but to reiterate, the Chargers are adding in more zone-offense concepts, including plays where they can move the pocket and make things easier on Tevi as he settles in on the other side of the line. Tevi best contributes to this offense when he is able to pull out into space and be a lead blocker. However, those skills don’t transition smoothly to the rest of the responsibilities of a left tackle.
Lastly, I should probably point out that Kenneth Murray is the only rookie predicted to win a starting job out of the gate. This I agree with. Apart from the chance K.J. Hill and Joe Reed have to win the last WR spot, I think Murray is far-and-away the favorite to lead all Chargers rookies in snaps in 2020.
Tell me what you all think of Rosenthal’s predictions in the comments. What did he get right/wrong? What would you change?