In today's article, BOLTHYPE looks at the potential 2011 San Diego Chargers roster and projects who we think could make the final cut.
Roster Analysis and Practice Squad options, by BOLTHYPE's newest writer Mychal Edelman.
The following is the projected 2011 Chargers roster followed by the explanation behind the selections:
Making the Cut- The final 53
Practice Squad Predictions and More
P. Rivers, B. Volek
R. Matthews, M. Tolbert, J. Hester, J. Todman
V. Jackson, M. Floyd, P. Crayton, V.Brown, S. Ajiritutu
A. Gates, R. McMichael, K. Sperry
M. McNeill, J. Clary, B. Dombrowski
K. Dielman, L. Vasquez, T. Green , S. Mruczkowski
N. Hardwick, C. Baxter
A. Garay, C. Thomas, O. Nwagbuo
L. Castillo, V. Martin, C. Liuget, J. Cesaire, D.Gamble
S. Phillips, L. English, T. Laboy, A Barnes, A. Gachkar
T. Spikes, D. Butler, J. Mouton, S. Cooper
Q. Jammer, A. Cason, M. Gilchrist, S. Wright, D. Hughes
B. Sanders, S. Gregory , Q. Teal
E. Weddle, D. Stuckey
M. Scifres, N. Kaeding, D. Binn
“Roster Analysis and Practice Squad options”
Carrying two quarterbacks gives the opportunity to save a roster spot for a special team asset. We all know what Rivers brings to the table, and Volek is as comfortable of a security blanket as there is in football. After a failed Jonathon Crompton project last year, the “extra arm” in camp, Scott Tolzien has played well enough in camp to make the team. but will have to settle for the practice squad.
The tandem of Mike Tolbert and Matthews packs quite a powerful punch. Are more touches for last year’s first round pick necessarily what is best for this backfield? Tolbert has repeatedly produced while on the field, if Matthews can stay healthy, both running backs combined skill set seems more than adequate. Hester provides an improved blocking FB, who has reliable hands, and is always an asset on Special Teams. We can all hope Todman reminds Charger fans frequently of Darren Sproles, and not of the similar (in stature), Terrell Fletcher. It’s important to consider that most of the running games success will rely on the continuity of the offense of line.
The Charger’s receiving options give Rivers an array of viable pass catching threats. Height and strength are the strengths of this group. Vincent Jackson, the leader of the group provides quality in all these areas. Even at the bottom of the depth chart, Ajiritutu provides a physical, down field threat. The team lacks a prototypical slot receiver, but Crayton can more than aptly fill that spot. Richard Goodman OR Brian Walters do fit the slot receiver billing, and fill an even bigger void on special teams as returners, but neither are ready to supplant the receivers in front of them on the active roster. Gates’ health is the biggest concern of the group, he has already been limited in practice. Kory Sperry is a sleeper to catch more balls; He and Randy McMichael are capable pass catching backups.
This offensive line makes or breaks this offensive unit; the talent and camaraderie of this group should protect Rivers and provide numerous running lanes for the backs. Dielman, Hardwick, and McNeill may be the best center, guard, and tackle combination in football. Clary continues to improve and impress on the right side, and an open competition between Greene and Vasquez will promote improved play from the right guard position. The depth is impressive and vast inside. A rookie center, Colin Baxter, will stick around, and rightfully so. He has played EXTREMELY WELL. Mruczkowski will continue to fill in when needed. Tackle depth is a concern, Stephen Schilling makes the practice squad to help there.
The defensive line looks to improve with the additions of Liuget and a surprise pass rusher in undrafted rookie D. Gamble, a converted playmaking linebacker. Castillo was non-existent last year, the team and Castillo himself, expect better. Garay the clear number one at defensive tackle, has Thomas and Nwagbuo to spell him. Vaughn Martin seems primed to take a step at end. Garay, Castillo, and Liuget look to start in Manusky’s system, but all will play.
Will Takeo Spikes and Donald Butler be good enough? An interesting combination of a veteran free agent and a first year player provides potential at inside linebacker. Cooper’s resigning can’t be understated, even if his presence is felt in the locker room more so then on the field. Mouton will see the field as well. Shaun Phillips is far and away the best playmaker on this defense, and a healthy English looks to replicate his pass rush on the other side. Laboy and Barnes help in passing situations, while Gachkar is a special team’s addition, but an important one. If eligible, Kion Wilson will remain a practice squad asset along with Bront Bird of Texas Tech.
On paper, the secondary is as solidified for the Chargers as it has been in the last decade. Jammer remains an integral piece of the defense and continuously flies under the radar as a top corner in the league. Cason looks to play at a higher level after a concerning hand injury following an excellent camp. Almost as importantly, AJ looks to have struck gold with the two drafted corners this year. Gilchrist will most certainly play in the slot and return kicks, while Shareece Wright, a former USC captain has the ability to contribute in that spot, as well as on special teams’ coverage as a gunner. They will both battle with veteran Dante Hughes for the 3rd spot. The safety position is immediately upgraded with the resigning of Weddle, even at a steep price. Bob Sanders playing next to him is what can really boost this unit. The Sanders and Weddle combination should excite even the dullest of Charger fans. Gregory and Stuckey provide capable veteran presences. Teal is a much needed special teams demon.
Binn, Scifres, and Kaeding. A more than capable kicking unit.
Have any thoughts or predictions of your own on the Chargers 2011 roster? Do you agree or disagree with the projections in this article? Sound off in the comments section below with your take!
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