Projecting Chargers 53-man roster, 16-man practice squad

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The Chargers’ 2021 preseason has concluded, which means that it’s time to finalize the 53-man roster.

Head coach Brandon Staley and company will have until 1:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday to compile the team that will start the regular season when Los Angeles visits The Washington Football Team on Sunday, Sept. 12.

But before we find out what the roster looks like, I decided to give it one more crack. Along with that, I also predicted what the 16-man practice squad roster could look like.

Let’s take a look.

Offense

Quarterbacks (3): Justin Herbert, Chase Daniel, Easton Stick

Misses the cut: N/A

Running backs (3): Austin Ekeler, Joshua Kelley, Larry Rountree III

Misses the cut: Justin Jackson, Darius Bradwell

Fullbacks (1): Gabe Nabers

Misses the cut: Hunter Kampmoyer

Wide receivers (6): Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Jalen Guyton, Tyron Johnson, Josh Palmer, K.J. Hill

Misses the cut: Joe Reed, Jason Moore, John Hurst, Michael Bandy

Tight ends (4): Jared Cook, Donald Parham, Tre’ McKitty, Stephen Anderson

Misses the cut: Matt Sokol

Offensive linemen (9): Rashawn Slater, Matt Feiler, Corey Linsley, Oday Aboushi, Bryan Bulaga, Trey Pipkins, Brenden Jaimes, Storm Norton, Scott Quessenberry

Misses the cut: Tyree St. Louis, Nate Gilliam, Ryan Hunter, Darius Harper

Notes

  • Since the beginning, it was thought that the quarterback room would be Justin Herbert and Chase Daniel, but Easton Stick played his way into having the coaches keep all three.

  • In a surprise manner, Justin Jackson gets the boot. Jackson is a talented player when healthy, but the problem is that he hasn’t shown the ability to consistently stay on the field. Plus, he’s entering the final year of his contract.

  • K.J. Hill gets the nod for the final wide receiver spot because of his special teams upside as a return specialist.

  • Given the fact that offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi incorporates a handful of three- and four-tight end sets, the team carries four. Plus, Stephen Anderson’s upside on special teams and versatility to play fullback is beneficial.

  • Despite Trey Pipkins’ struggles throughout the offseason, I can’t see the team letting go of him, especially since they’re already thin at the position.

Defense

Defensive linemen (6): Linval Joseph, Justin Jones, Jerry Tillery, Christian Covington, Breiden Fehoko, Cortez Broughton

Misses the cut: Joe Gaziano, Willie Yarbary, Forrest Merrill

Edge defender (4): Joey Bosa, Uchenna Nwosu, Kyler Fackrell, Chris Rumph II

Misses the cut: Jessie Lemonier, Emeke Egbule, Davin Bellamy

Linebackers (5): Kenneth Murray, Drue Tranquill, Kyzir White, Nick Niemann, Amen Ogbongbemiga

Misses the cut: Cole Christiansen

Defensive backs (9): Michael Davis, Asante Samuel, Jr., Chris Harris, Jr., Brandon Facyson, Tevaughn Campbell, Derwin James, Nasir Adderley, Alohi Gilman, Mark Webb

Misses the cut: John Brannon, Kemon Hall, Ryan Smith

Specialists (3): Tristan Vizcaino, Ty Long, Matt Overton

Misses the cut: Michael Badgley, Cole Mazza

Notes

  • Projecting the interior part of the defensive line was difficult because there were a handful of players who flashed. Breiden Fehoko flashed as an all-around player, and brings infectious energy to the locker room.

  • Emeke Egbule would have likely earned a spot on the roster, but the time missed with an injury hindered his chances.

  • Despite missing the preseason finale, Staley hinted that Ogbongbemiga will make the team with his comments from last week: “Ogbongbemiga will be ready for Game 1.” The undrafted free agent supplies the team will be a special teams ace.

  • Ryan Smith will likely remain on the COVID-19/Reserve list which means that there will be an additional roster spot. Tevaughn Campbell has been talked highly of and he has the ability to serve as one of the team’s gunners on punt coverage.

  • Michael Badgley had the slight edge all the way until the end, but I believe the coaches favor Tristan Vizcaino’s leg strength, despite having more missed field goals in practices.

  • Matt Overton gets the nod with Cole Mazza dealing with a shoulder injury.

Practice squad

  1. RB Darius Bradwell

  2. WR Jason Moore

  3. WR Michael Bandy

  4. TE Matt Sokol

  5. FB Hunter Kampmoyer

  6. OL Ryan Hunter

  7. OL Nate Gilliam

  8. OL Tyree St. Louis

  9. NT Forrest Merrill

  10. DL Joe Gaziano

  11. LB Cole Christiansen

  12. EDGE Jessie Lemonier

  13. EDGE Emeke Egbule

  14. CB John Brannon

  15. CB Kemon Hall

  16. S Ben DeLuca