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Los Angeles Chargers Roster Breakdown in 2020
Go ahead and circle the week 1 tilt against the Bengals on September 13th as the official changing of the guard for this organization. It’ll be the first time the Chargers roster will be guided by someone other than Philip Rivers since the 2005 season — or 224 regular-season games ago.
Moving into a new stadium helps wipe away the 5-11 record the Bolts produced in 2019, as does a reinvigorated defense and the addition of one of the best offensive tackles in football.
To assist in investigating the strengths and weaknesses of this squad, I’ve organized the Los Angeles Chargers depth charts by position.
*Names in bold denotes player is a starter
Chargers Quarterback Depth Chart
Whether or not Justin Herbert has time to pass up Tyrod Taylor on the Los Angeles Chargers’ depth chart remains to be seen, but don’t be shocked if Taylor seizes this opportunity.
Given Tyrod’s dual-threat capabilities and hunger to prove he belongs, I like him as a genuine fantasy football QB sleeper in 2020.
Chargers Running Back Depth Chart
Is Melvin Gordon’s departure really that big of a deal?
Austin Ekeler is the more dynamic RB and will handle the majority of the backfield touches. Justin Jackson is a quality backup, and Anthony Lynn is excited about the potential of Joshua Kelley. In fact, it shouldn’t be long until the UCLA product flies by Jackson on the Chargers’ depth chart.
Chargers Wide Receiver Depth Chart
Joe Reed is an intriguing rookie known as a return specialist, and it’s fully expected that he is incorporated into multiple offensive packages. With that being said, it’s up to LA’s top-two receivers if this passing attack is going to take off.
Keenan Allen is about as sure-handed as it gets, hauling 97 or more balls during each of the last three seasons. After catching 10 touchdowns in 2018, Mike Williams surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in 2019, leading the NFL with a glamorous 20.4 yards/reception.
Chargers Tight End Depth Chart
Perceived as a top-10 guy in just about every fantasy tight end ranking you can find, Hunter Henry is due for a big year in 2020. The 25-year-old TE posted a 55-652-5 line in 2019 despite missing four games with a fractured tibia.
Virgil Green will be on the field for a decent chunk of the snaps, although he’ll primarily be utilized as a blocking tight end on early downs.
Chargers Offensive Line Depth Chart
|Position||Starter||Backup||Third String||Fourth String|
|Left Tackle||Bryan Bulaga||Trent Scott||Tyree St. Louis|
|Left Guard||Dan Feeney||Ryan Groy||Storm Norton||Josh Dunlop|
|Center||Mike Pouncey||Scott Quessenberry|
|Right Guard||Trai Turner||Forrest Lamp||Nathan Gilliam|
|Right Tackle||Sam Trevi||Trey Pipkins||Cole Toner||Ryan Roberts|
Both Russell Okung and Michael Schofield are now in Carolina, but the Chargers retaliated by signing Bryan Bulaga to a three-year/$30-million deal in late March.
And the dude is worth every penny.
Trai Turner takes over for Schofield at right guard, plus Mike Pouncey returns after having to shut it down after five games with a neck injury. It’s not the best offensive line in the NFL, but it’s a more than adequate group.
Chargers Defensive Line Depth Chart
|Defensive End||Defensive Tackle|
|Joey Bosa||Linval Joseph|
|Melvin Ingram||Justin Jones|
|Isaac Rochell||Damion Square|
|Uchenna Nwosu||Jerry Tillery|
|Joe Gaziano||P.J. Johnson|
|Jessie Lemonier||Cortez Broughton|
Considering how ferocious edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are, it’s a bit of a mystery that Los Angeles only tallied 30 sacks in 2019 (28th in the NFL). Linval Joseph’s arrival bolsters the D-line, but they’re going to need others to step up and not rely so heavily on the aforementioned duo.
Bosa racked up 11.5 sacks last year while Melvin Ingram accounted for 7. Nobody else amassed more than 2.5.
Chargers Linebacker Depth Chart
|Nick Vigil||Kenneth Murray||Uchenna Nwosu|
|Malik Jefferson||Denzel Perryman||Emeke Egbule|
|Drue Tranquill||Kyzir White||Asmar Bilal|
|Romeo Finley||Cole Christiansen|
Gus Bradley struggled to find consistent production from his middle level in 2019. The good news is this part of the Chargers’ depth chart was addressed in a big way through free agency and the draft.
Kenneth Murray has every tool to evolve into an elite linebacker and assumes a role that should have him lined up to be on the shortlist of genuine NFL Defensive ROY candidates. Nevertheless, luring Nick Vigil from Cincinnati might even be a bigger boost to the defense.
Chargers Cornerback Depth Chart
|Chris Harris Jr.|
Chris Harris Jr. is 31 years old and coming off a disappointing final season in Denver. However, he’s still good enough to guard the opposition’s best receiver and will provide a ton of leadership in the defensive backfield.
And it gets better.
Casey Hayward is a two-time Pro Bowler, while Desmond King was an All-Pro in 2018.
All in all, the LA corners are tough as nails.
Chargers Safety Depth Chart
|Roderic Teamer Jr.|
As if the secondary wasn’t already in good hands thanks to a loaded collection of CBs, the play of the safeties is right on par.
Derwin James exploded as a rookie (2018 First-Team All-Pro) before a stress fracture in his right foot cost him the first 11 games in 2019. Rayshawn Jenkins was there to back him up, starting all 16 games and leading the team in interceptions and snaps played.
In a perfect world, Nasir Adderly progresses his game and will be rotated into obvious pass situations.
Chargers Special Teams Depth Chart
|Kicker||Punter||Long Snapper||Holder||Punt Returner||Kick Returner|
|Michael Badgley, Ty Long||Ty Long||Cole Mazza||Ty Long||Desmond King||Desmond King|
Michael Badgley was able to get on track after missing the first eight games in 2019 with a groin injury. In 18 appearances for the Chargers since the start of 2018, the former standout at Miami (FL) is 28/32 kicking field goals and 46/47 on extra points.
Desmond King doubles as an exquisite returner on top of being a top-tier cornerback.
Chargers Roster Analysis
- Grade: B/B+
Tom Telesco has a ton of playmakers on defense. The Bolts have a genuine deep threat in Mike Williams and a trusty possession receiver in Keenan Allen. The offensive line is sturdy, and Austin Ekeler is one of the craftiest running backs in the game.
I think all NFL touts would concur that the Chargers roster is good enough to compete for a spot in the playoffs.
The question is if whoever is playing quarterback can deliver the football accurately and on time.
Only time will tell.
Betting on the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020
Coming off of a 5-11 campaign, it’s natural to sleep on the Bolts in 2020.
The great thing about their abominable 2019 record is the juicy futures odds that have been installed as a result. Anyone who wants to bet on how the Chargers will perform in the upcoming season has a ton of upside already built in.
Take a look and see for yourself.