The Chargers signed 14 undrafted free agents following this year’s draft. That’s four more than last year’s haul and five less than 2020’s sizable group of 19.
Unlike most of the past decade, the Chargers roster is currently very strong with decent depth throughout. Positions that have been chronic weaknesses year-in and year-out for this franchise now look pretty dang good on paper. That’s why I believe this should be the most-difficult year in recent memory for an undrafted player to make the team’s final 53-man roster.
Despite what I perceive to be a very low chance at the end of the day, that’s still a tangible chance, nonetheless. With that said, here are the three UFDAs I believe that the best chance on sticking on the team’s final roster.
1.) EDGE Ty Shelby
The Chargers passed on an edge rusher in this year’s draft but made up for the move by signing former Patriots outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy played over 75 percent of his snaps on the edge for the Patriots in 2021, but that didn’t necessarily mean he was rushing the passer. Van Noy is a stellar edge-setter in the run game and he was mainly used to keep backs from bouncing runs outside. It’s with this in mind that I believe Shelby has the highest chance of any of the 14 UDFAs to stick on the team’s final roster since he’d be that final body in the pass-rusher room.
#Chargers UDFA EDGE Ty Shelby should be a nice practice squad stash or EDGE5 if they decide to go with five this year. I think expecting him to hit the ground running as EDGE4 would be overoptimistic.— Tyler Schoon (@tylerjschoon) May 3, 2022
A lot to like on a Year 3 projection. pic.twitter.com/AA7ytsnn1x
2.) LB Tyreek Maddox-Williams
Our next UDFA I like plays yet another position where I’m still not sold on the depth of the room. As it stands, I’d call the linebacker room the youngest and least-talented group on the roster. Adding former Ram Troy Reeder was a nice move, but the starting talent is not there and the reserves are made up of a second-year UDFA and a sixth-round pick. Mainly, I like Maddox-Williams’ chances to make the team due to his decent football IQ and potential special teams contributions. He’s not the most-athletic player at the position but he played in a lot of games at Rutgers and showed he’s willing to do what the team needs him to despite watching starting role dwindle away following a season-ending injury as a sophomore.
3.) OL Isaac Weaver
Weaver played the first half of his career for ODU at left tackle before switching to center in his final two seasons. Weaver made the move because the coaching staff believed he was their smartest lineman and putting him at center would help alleviate some shortcomings up front. He’s got great size and shows the ideal strength to displace interior defenders on double-team blocks. I don’t think he’s currently got the agility to cover up shiftier lineman on zone plays, but he’ll get you some movement up front on gap runs and down blocks. I’m giving Weaver an edge over other UDFAs mainly due to his playing experience and the importance of the position he plays.