Predicting The Chargers Final Roster

Who the Bolts might keep on their 53-man roster

The Chargers are about to go to radio silent as they try and figure out who will make their 53-man roster for the 2015 season. No announcements on who makes the team for the first game against the Lions will be made until Saturday around the 1:00 p.m. Pacific time deadline. So, allow us to speculate on what the roster will look like (at least, the way I would like for it to look):

QB (2)

17 Philip Rivers
10 Kellen Clemens

As long as #17 is there, you don’t need anyone else. If the Chargers DO need anyone else, then the season is probably lost anyway. The man is that good and that important.

TE (3)

89 Ladarius Green
88 David Johnson
83 John Phillips

Antonio Gates has been suspended for the first four games of the year but instead of adding a fourth tight end now I have a feeling they’ll use the extra roster spot to take a closer look at a guy at another position. That position is …

WR (6)

80 Malcom Floyd
13 Keenan Allen
11 Stevie Johnson
12 Jacoby Jones
15 Dontrelle Inman
8 Javontee Herndon

Herndon has really flashed brilliance in this preseason. If it comes down to keeping another tight end just to have a body or keeping a guy who can be a playmaker, even if it is at a position where they have a ton of depth, why not go with the playmaker until Gates gets back?

RB (4)

28 Melvin Gordon
39 Danny Woodhead
43 Branden Oliver
34 Donald Brown

I hemmed and hawed over this one like crazy. It would make sense to cut ties with Brown, who has underperformed since putting on a Chargers uniform, and keep a younger talent like Dreamius Smith. But Brown is such a well-liked and respected locker room guy that nostalgia could very well win out here. But, if Brown is on the roster he’s the 52nd or 53rd guy to make it.

OL (8)

77 King Dunlap
74 Orlando Franklin
65 Chris Watt
76 D.J. Fluker
72 Joe Barksdale
75 Jeremiah Sirles
60 Trevor Robinson
70 Chris Hairston

As important as Philip Rivers is, the Chargers will only go as far as their offensive line takes them. It’s one of the most versatile groups in the NFL with several guys having the ability to play multiple positions (and Sirles could conceivably play four spots because he’s learning the center spot). The Bolts tried multiple combinations in training camp and the exhibition games. You may notice Johnnie Troutman is not on the list. He has been underwhelming for a while and now the prospect of him missing time with an arm injury could spell the end of his time as a Charger.

CB (5)

22 Jason Verrett
23 Steve Williams
24 Brandon Flowers
26 Patrick Robinson
29 Craig Mager

After Chris Davis suffered an injury this might be the easiest of the position groups to predict. The Chargers secondary should be the deepest it’s been in years.

S (4)

32 Eric Weddle
25 Darrell Stuckey
27 Jimmy Wilson
37 Jahleel Addae

OK I take it back. THIS is the easiest position group to predict. Weddle and Stuckey are Pro Bowlers and Addae and Wilson both played extremely well this exhibition season.

OLB (5)

54 Melvin Ingram
97 Jeremiah Attaochu
51 Kyle Emanuel
99 Cordarro Law
58 Tourek Williams

Williams was starting to come in to his own as a linebacker and has been solid on special teams but suffered a broken foot in the first preseason game against Dallas. If he has to go on season-ending Injured-Reserve, Colton Underwood will get the spot. Underwood spent most of the 2014 season on San Diego’s practice squad and showed improvement this training camp.

ILB (5)

50 Manti Te’o
56 Donald Butler
52 Denzel Perryman
53 Kavell Conner
48 Nick Dzubnar

The undrafted free agent streak continues! Dzubnar makes it 19 straight years the Bolts have had a guy who went undrafted made the Opening Day roster. Nick has turned heads with his effort and production. The all-time leading tackler at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo played his college games at Alex G. Spanos Stadium, now he gets a chance to play them at a stadium Dean Spanos wants to get rid of. #Symmetry

DL (7)

94 Corey Liuget
91 Kendall Reyes
92 Ryan Carrethers
90 Ricardo Mathews
98 Sean Lissemore
96 Mitch Unrein
93 Darius Philon

Liuget has been one of the underappreciated commodities in the NFL for a few years now but the Chargers rewarded his efforts with a big off-season contract. Philon is the guy to keep a close eye on. The 6th-round pick out of Arkansas has played very well.

Specialists (4)

5 Mike Scifres
47 Mike Windt
9 Nick Novak
2 Josh Lambo

Yes, I went there. Perhaps this is just because I like both guys a lot. Maybe it’s because I really see great value in having a guy who can kick the ball consistently to the back line of the end zone. Maybe it’s because I think Novak could be a Pro Bowler if he does not have to worry about kickoffs, instead concentrating only on field goals. Maybe it’s because I think, if Mike McCoy really wants to keep his “best 53,” he’ll go with a guy who has been one of his best players this year even if it is a kicker. It may not be ideal but it’s worth it if it gives you an advantage on Special Teams.

Of course, some of this might change when the team sees who is available when all the other 31 tetams make their roster moves. Plus they can add up to 10 men to the practice squad. So that’s one man’s opinion on the final 53. What do you all think?

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