Week 1 Scouting Notebook: A look at potential Chargers prospects

·6 min read

We want to welcome back The Scouting Notebook.

The Scouting Notebook will feature prospects to keep an eye on when most of the college games occur. While some may think it’s too early to start talking about the 2023 NFL draft, there’s never a bad time to talk about the future of the Chargers.

That said, here are the players to watch for in Week 1.

Oregon @ Georgia

Time: 12:30pm PT

Where to watch: ABC

Matchup to watch: Oregon DL Brandon Dorlus vs. Georgia OL

In a game littered with NFL talent, the biggest focus should be on the trenches. Dorlus is a powerful defensive lineman with surprising quickness off the snap who could be a plug-and-play replacement at five-technique, where Morgan Fox and Jerry Tillery are currently the main players. Both are on expiring contracts. Dorlus brings a better run defense presence than Tillery, and while he isn’t as refined as a pass rusher, bringing back Fox on the cheap to combine with him could be a feasible plan. Georgia, meanwhile, has four potential prospects on the offensive line: LT Broderick Jones, C Sedrick Van Pran, RG Tate Ratledge, and RT Warren McClendon. The Chargers have already found a potential gem from the Georgia OL in Jamaree Salyer.

Other players to watch:

Oregon – OT Steven Jones, C Alex Forsyth, LB Noah Sewell

Georgia – TE Arik Gilbert, DL Jalen Carter, CB Kelee Ringo

Arizona @ San Diego State

Time: 12:30pm PT

Where to watch: CBS

Matchup to watch: Arizona OTs Jordan Morgan and Paiton Fears vs. SDSU EDGE Keshawn Banks

This is a sneaky good matchup to track for NFL prospects, despite the Wildcats’ Pac-12 basement dwelling and the Aztecs losing a ton of talent to the draft last year. Banks is probably San Diego State’s best player, at least on defense. He’s more of a base end than a true pass rush specialist because of his proficiency as a run defender and lack of a true pass rush plan. Still, he could be worth looking out for as a Jamal Davis-type camp or preseason player next summer. Morgan, Arizona’s left tackle, is an agile and violent pass protector who needs to fix his high pad level and snap timing. Fears is a brutal run blocker on the right side who needs to up his pass-blocking skills to become a draftable prospect.

Other players to watch:

Arizona – WR Jacob Cowing, CB Christian Roland-Wallace, LB/S Christian Young

SDSU – C Alama Uluave, LB Caden McDonald, S Patrick McMorris

Cincinnati @ Arkansas

Time: 12:30 pm PT

Where to watch: ESPN

The Chargers could be in the market for another weapon to maximize Justin Herbert’s game as he will be heading into the final year of his rookie deal. Cincinnati TE Josh Whyle is a reliable pass-catcher who wins with a combination of size, ball skills and physicality. He shows good movement skills, burst and acceleration to create yards after the catch. He displays great length and ability to high point the ball well in contested situations. He shows good play strength in the blocking department. Arkansas will be looking to minimize Whyle and the Bearcats’ offense, and a big factor in that will be the play of safety Jalen Catalon. Catalon is a versatile playmaker, thriving as a heat-seeking missile downhill. Injured last season, staying healthy will be key for Catalon.

Other players to watch:

Cincinnati – CB Arquon Bush, S Javon Hicks, LBs Ivan Pace Jr and Deshawn Pace

Arkansas – C Ricky Stromberg, DB Latavious Brini, EDGE Jordan Domineck

 

Utah @ Florida

Time: 4 pm PT

Where to watch: ESPN

The Gators open up their season in The Swamp, hoping to upset the No. 7 Utes. For Billy Napier’s squad, it all starts in the trenches where DT Gervon Dexter and EDGE Brenton Cox will look to apply the pressure on QB Cameron Rising. Dexter is a well-built interior defender with a combination of power, explosiveness and length. Cox brings juice off the edge with the foot quickness, active hand tactics and length to pressure the pocket. The Chargers could be in the market for a tight end next offseason, and Utah’s Dalton Kincaid and Brant Kuithe are an intriguing pairing who could be fits. Kincaid is an athletic pass-catcher with great size and has the toughness to win and secure crowded catch points. Kuithe, on the other hand, is a versatile player, having lined up in-line, from the slot, and out of the backfield, who runs an expanded route tree and has yards-after-the-catch ability. Kincaid and Kuithe combined to haul in 86 receptions for 1,1121 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2021.

Other players to watch:

Utah – CB Clark Phillips, OT Braeden Daniels, LB Mohamoud Diabate, CB JaTravis Broughton

Florida – LB Ventrell Miller, S Rashad Torrence, S Trey Dean

Notre Dame @ Ohio State

Time: 4:30 pm PT

Where to watch: ABC

Brandon Staley said as long as he’s the head coach, the Chargers will always be looking to add cornerbacks, and this game will feature a couple that could garner his interest. For the Fighting Irish, Cam Hart is a good-sized corner at 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds with immense athleticism. Hart, the former receiver has speed, natural ball skills, and the versatility to play both man and zone coverage. For the Buckeyes, Cameron Brown stands at 6-foot and 190 pounds, and allowed only 13 catches on 34 targets for 189 yards in 2021. Los Angeles will be looking to add more depth along the interior part of the defensive line next year. Notre Dame’s Jayson Ademilola and Rylie Mills are potential fits. Ademilola has a quick first step, active hands, and a high motor to generate pressure. Mills, the former shot puter, has a game that is predicated on strength and power to knock back blockers. In a rotational role last year, he finished with 19 pressures.

Other players to watch:

Notre Dame – EDGE Isaiah Foskey, C Jarrett Patterson, S Brandon Joseph

Ohio State – C Luke Wypler, RT Dawand Jones, S Ronnie Hickman

Boise State @ Oregon State

Time: 7:30pm PT

Where to watch: ESPN

Matchup to watch: Boise State DL Divine Obichere vs. Oregon State OT/G Brandon Kipper

Obichere has had a quiet career at Boise State, with 34 total tackles in two seasons since transferring from Long Beach City College. But Obichere was named to the Senior Bowl watchlist, so something is putting him on NFL team’s radar. He’ll go up against Kipper, Oregon State’s longtime starter at right tackle, who is moving inside to right guard this season. Kipper has the requisite length to play tackle, but he struggled with hand and shoulder placement on the outside. Perhaps a move to the interior remedies those issues. For a Chargers team that should continue to hunt for offensive line depth, they could do a lot worse than the versatile senior for the Beavers.

Other players to watch:

Boise State – OT John Ojukwu, EDGE George Tarlas, S JL Skinner

Oregon State – TE Luke Musgrave, C Jake Levengood, LB Omar Speights

Story originally appeared on Chargers Wire