Prior to the 2021 season, the Chargers signed Amen Ogbongbemiga, a former All-Big 12 selection at linebacker as one of their undrafted free agents. Ogbongbemiga went on to not only make the final roster, but he saw himself a decent amount snaps for a rookie UDFA. With the Chargers letting Kyzir White walk in free agency, the position group heads into this season with plenty of youth and inexperience. It was also quit shallow this time last year. which is a big reason why Ogbongbemiga ended up sticking.
This offseason, the Chargers added another linebacker among their UDFA haul in Tyreek Maddox-Williams. With the assumption that Kyle Van Noy will play mainly on the edge, the Chargers could stand to add another body to the room.
At 6’2 and 235 pounds, Maddox-Williams is built like a modern day linebacker with length and a low cut physique. He reportedly ran a 4.66 forty at his pro day earlier this offseason, which is exactly the time Ogbongbemiga ran, as well.
Maddox-Williams spent six seasons Rutgers after taking advantage of that additional year offered by the NCAA due to complications with the COID-19 pandemic. He played five seasons total, missing the 2017 campaign with a serious injury that occurred in camp.
As a freshman, he started six games among 11 played, totaling 46 tackles, 1.5 for loss, and half a sack. When he returned to the field in 2018, Maddox-Williams put up 44 stops and a career-high four tackles for loss in 12 starts. From here on, however, he slowly lost playing time throughout the remainder of his career.
In 2019, he saw 9 starts in 12 games. In 2020, he started just one out of nine games played. Finally, in 2021, Maddox-Williams didn’t record a single start among the eight games he participated in. In all, he ended his Rutgers career with 206 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, one sack, nine passes defended, and two forced fumbles.
Apart from the middling production on the field, the Chargers likely took interest in Maddox-Williams due to his excellent work ethic in the classroom, as well. After all, it’s not often a player is named to the Academic All-Big Ten team fives years in a row (2017-2021).
Realistically, Maddox-Williams only has a shot to make this roster if the Chargers decide to keep six linebackers. While that may not seem too crazy, they don’t often play with more than two on the field at any given time. Plus, with the amount of snaps we predict they’ll play in Dime packages, that leaves an even lesser need for more off-ball linebackers with average athleticism to stick around.
I believe in the end, Maddox-Williams will have to show he can contribute on special teams if you wishes to sniff this roster when it’s all said and done.