Projecting Chargers’ Week 1 defensive depth chart

·2 min read

The Chargers have until September 11th to get their Week 1 depth chart sorted out before their matchup with the Raiders.

Here’s my projection for the defensive side:

Starter

Backup

Third-string

Reserve

Defensive tackle

Austin Johnson

Breiden Fehoko

Nose tackle

Sebastian Joseph-Day

Otito Ogbonnia

Defensive end

Morgan Fox

Jerry Tillery

Edge defender

Joey Bosa

Chris Rumph II

Inside linebacker

Kyle Van Noy

Troy Reeder

Nick Niemann

Inside linebacker

Drue Tranquill

Kenneth Murray

Amen Ogbongbemiga

Outside linebacker

Khalil Mack

Cornerback

Michael Davis

Deane Leonard

Safety

Derwin James

Alohi Gilman

Safety

Nasir Adderley

JT Woods

Cornerback

Asante Samuel Jr.

Kemon Hall

Nickel

Bryce Callahan

Ja’Sir Taylor

Joseph-Day and Johnson are the starters on the interior and can play a variety of alignments. Both can line up as a nose tackle over the center or line up further from the ball, where the hope is to improve a porous run defense from a season ago.

Fehoko and Ogbonnia are also seen as players who can help in that department as rotational pieces.

Fox and Tillery will serve as interior pass rushers.

The Chargers only kept three edge defenders, but Bosa and Mack will be playing north of 85% of defensive snaps. But the team has some versatile players to make it work. Van Noy can rush off the edge at a high level, as he’s done in his career. Fox can also kick outside.

Van Noy and Tranquill will begin the season as the starters at inside linebacker. How Murray is eased back in after having ankle surgery will be something to look for. Reeder, Niemann and Ogbongbemiga will be special teams coverage players.

J.C. Jackson is the No. 1 corner, but he is not on the depth chart because I anticipate him not being ready for the season opener after undergoing ankle surgery. Davis and Samuel will start on the outside, with Callahan manning the slot. I have the team calling up Hall from the practice squad.

Woods is still a ways from being field-ready due to his lackluster tackling. Therefore, Gilman will be the second safety next to Adderley when James moves around in the slot, in the box at money.

Story originally appeared on Chargers Wire