The Chargers have been long-associated with undrafted free agents over the last two decades. They consistently find impact players following the draft and have signed at least one UDFA every year since the turn of the century. The most-notable players over that time span are obviously former tight end and future Hall of Famer Antonio Gates and current RB1 Austin Ekeler.
With the entire NFL having just gone through one of the most abbreviated and bizarre offseasons in memory, it’ll be interesting to see if this lengthy streak of signing at least one UDFA will finally come to an end, especially with zero preseason games to help the players’ cause.
But whom out of the Chargers 19 UDFAs has the best shot at making the final 53? If you’re Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox, you have a really good feeling about linebacker Asmar Bilal, another former Notre Dame defender who could join a litany of Irish already on the team.
“Former Notre Dame linebacker Asmar Bilal possesses the playing experience, the production and the big-program pedigree of a player who should have been picked in the first seven rounds of the draft. Bilal appeared in at least 12 games in all four of his collegiate seasons and finished 2019 with 79 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and two passes defended.”
The 6’2”, 230-pound linebacker should have a chance to make the regular-season roster as an early-down defender and special teams contributor. If he doesn’t stick with the Chargers, other teams in need of a run-support backer will likely come calling.
Bilal is exactly the type of linebacker the Chargers have coveted over the last four or five years. He’s a bit on the smaller side (he was listed at 222 on ND’s roster) and can cover ground in hurry to stop the run or cover. He fits right along with Kyzir White and fellow UDFA Romeo Finley. These types of backers also see significant time on special teams, which will certainly be Bilal’s ticket onto this team.
Another big play by former BD FB and Track star Asmar Bilal! pic.twitter.com/oYi2bNIRlD— Mike Davidson (@BDtrack) September 30, 2018
However, in a position group full of athletic LBs, Bilal will have to standout in more ways than one to stick in 2020.
Now for today’s links.
Chargers ink majority of their 2020 draft picks (Chargers.com)
Alexander Insdorf lists five overrated and underrated Madden 21 ratings for the Chargers (Bolt Beat)
Jason Reed discusses the five toughest QB matchups in 2020 for the Bolts (Bolt Beat)
Gavino Borquez discusses how LT Trey Pipkins could breakout in 2020 (Chargers Wire)
Kristopher Knox lists the best UDFA for each NFL team (Bleacher Report)
What are the most pivotal position battles in this year’s training camps? (Bleacher Report)
Bill Barnwell ranks the NFL’s biggest outlier contracts (ESPN)
Who won the Jamal Adams trade, Seattle or New York? (ESPN)
Pete Prisco discusses the biggest question mark for each NFL team (CBS Sports)
Mike Florio reports on the suspension of players workouts for now in the NFL (Pro Football Talk)