9 players who will be the toughest for Chargers to cut

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Now that training camp and preseason has officially come to an end, the Chargers are hard at work to compile the 53-man roster and practice squad ahead of the 2021 regular season.

There are a few players that helped their causes this summer, but there still won’t be enough room for them. With that being said, I predicted the nine toughest cuts as the deadline approaches.

QB Easton Stick

AP Photo/Alex Gallardo

I have Stick making the roster in my recent projections, but I can still see a scenario where the team decides to keep him off to create a spot for another player. Not having the third-year player wouldn't be a major loss, but he showed some upside this summer, thus making him a decent piece in a potential trade.

RB Justin Jackson

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The best ability to have is availability, which Jackson has not shown to have. Running as RB2 throughout training camp, the fourth-year back suffered a groin injury in the preseason opener and never saw the field the rest of the way out. Productive when healthy? Yes. But it might not be worth taking the chance, especially since he's entering the final year of his deal. Instead, the Chargers' best bet might be to dig into the free agency pool.

RB Darius Bradwell

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Assuming he doesn't make the cut, I would be shocked if Bradwell isn't on the team's practice squad. The reason why Bradwell is mentioned is because he was the second-most efficient runner right behind Larry Rountree. Not only did he make the most with his carries, Bradwell was also a valuable asset on special teams.

NT Forrest Merrill

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The interior part of the defensive line had quite a few standout performers, which makes the decision-making process that much more difficult. Among the crop that shined was Merrill, the undrafted free agent out of Arkansas, who got the dirty work done - consistently getting penetration and eating up double teams. Ultimately, I believe Breiden Fehoko gets the nod.

EDGE Emeke Egbule or Jessie Lemonier

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The reason why Egbule and Lemonier are both mentioned is because I believe the team ends up only keeping four edge defenders to open one up for a linebacker or defensive back, which means they're left off. The two were some of the most productive pass rushers during the preseason, and they also got work done against the run and on special teams. Note: Lemonier was waived on Monday.

TE Stephen Anderson

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

In my latest projections, I have Anderson making the roster but I can see a scenario where they carry only three tight ends and use Gabe Nabers in a similar role. I believe Nabers offers more upside as a blocker, has shown potential as a pass-catcher and most importantly, has been lauded by the coaches for his special teams ability.

CB Kemon Hall

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Hall was among the defensive backs who showed out in the new scheme. Showcasing the ability to play a variety of roles in the secondary, Hall made a handful of plays in coverage and in the run game. In addition, he solidified himself as a reliable special teamer.

CB John Brannon

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In addition to Hall, Brannon also stood out in the secondary. He posted the most interceptions in training camp with five and carried that over under the lights. Showing his play-making ability, Brannon had a game-saving interception in the preseason opener against the Rams, as well as flashing on other occasions in coverage and on special teams.

OL Ryan Hunter

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It's evident that the Chargers are lacking depth along the offensive line, and some of the players who performed well are still likely going to be cut, with the most notable being Hunter. Getting the job done in both phases, Hunter only allowed two quarterbacks in 60 reps.