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Chargers 90-in-90: OLB/DE Jessie Lemonier

At a premium position, Lemonier hopes to carve out a role in the team’s new defense.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Lemonier played his prep ball at Hialeah High School in Hialeah, Florida. It’s unclear what he did following his graduation in 2015 as I can’t find anything about his time playing football at Ventura College in 2017. He played just a single season in Ventura, collecting 79 tackles, 18.5 tackles-for-loss, 8.5 sacks, and one interception. He helped Ventura to their 16th conference title in school history and was named the Defensive Player of the Year in the conference.

His success did not stop after leaving the JUCO ranks, however. Lemonier went on to record 13.5 tackles-for-loss and 10 sacks to go along with 55 tackles and two forced fumbles in his first season at Liberty. As a senior with the Flames, Lemonier took his game to another level when he finished with 80 total stops, 15.5 tackles-for-loss. and 10.5 sacks with a forced fumble. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-Independent Team right before helping his team beat Georgia Southern in the Cure Bowl on the back of a multi-sack performance.

Lemonier eventually became one of 19 undrafted players signed by the Chargers following the 2020 draft. He saw time in six games and finished his rookie season with a pair of tackles and two quarterback hits.

Basic Info

Height: 6’2
Weight: 245
College: Liberty
Experience: 1
Years with team: 1

Contract Status

“Jessie Lemonier signed a 2 year, $1,390,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $695,000. In 2021, Lemonier will earn a base salary of $780,000, while carrying a cap hit of $780,000.” - Spotrac.com

The Good

Lemonier came to the Chargers as a stand-up edge rusher and was forced to put his hand in the dirt in Gus Bradley’s defense despite being a pretty clear “LEO”-type player. In Brandon Staley’s defense, he’ll likely be more of a true outside linebacker which is where he likely wants to be with his skillset.

The Bad

Like I stated above, Lemonier was a true edge rusher in college. Now that he’ll be asked to play on the edge in the team’s 3-4 front, his responsibilities will expand to dropping into coverage on occassion. He wasn’t asked to do that much, if at all at Liberty so it remains to be seen if that’ll be a steep learning curve for him while getting accustomed to the new scheme this summer.

Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2021?

Behind the top three of Joey Bosa, Uchenna Nwosu, and Kyler Fackrell, depth spots are up for grabs and Lemonier will be right in the thick of it with Emeke Egbule. With more depth being needed along the interior of the defensive line, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Chargers keep just four outside linebackers. If that’s the case, Lemonier and Egbule will be duking it out in camp for the final spot on the roster.