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Just Win Baby

*** Official 2019 Chargers Thread ****

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Posted (edited)
43 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

He seems like a project who isn’t ready to play this season. But his frame and athleticism appear to be legitimately top-tier.

While the third round does seem a bit high for someone with significant bust potential, it was a low third-round pick, and given his upside, I’m on board with the gamble.

(It’s a reach based on where Mel Kiper had him projected, but I think those kinds of projections are particularly useless when it comes to players from Sioux Falls. [Where “Mel Kiper” means all draft prognosticators and “Sioux Falls” means all Division II schools.])

I agree there is some potential with him, and I agree that I don't care much about the "Mel Kiper" prognosticator projections. However:

  1. I don't think the 3rd round is the place to knowingly draft a project player who won't be expected to make the active roster in his first season even if healthy. Not for a Super Bowl contender. There was enough talent available to draft a 2019 contributor.
  2. I think he likely would have made it to the Chargers' 4th round pick. (He might even have reached their 5th round pick, but that is doubtful enough that I'm sure they would have drafted him in the 4th in this scenario.)
  3. Does Pipkins truly have the highest ceiling of the OTs that remained on the board at that point? I suppose it's obvious that the Chargers thought so, but I'm not convinced they are right.

It is puzzling why Telesco seems to struggle with 3rd round picks, especially since he has drafted well after the 3rd round, at least in 2015-2018. He drafted Allen in the 3rd round in 2013, which was a great pick (and a bit of a gift)... but since then, these are his 3rd round picks: C Watt, CB Mager, C Tuerk, G Feeney, DT Jones, OT Pipkins.

It's like Telesco has a philosophy that the 3rd round is where to reach on raw/project players with (theoretically) high ceilings. Like he is looking for the steal of the draft in the 3rd that no one else sees. The jury is out on Feeney, Jones, and Pipkins, so I hope they end up justifying their picks, but I remain disappointed with this pick.

Edited by Just Win Baby

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8 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

I think he likely would have made it to the Chargers' 4th round pick.

This is what I was getting at with my Mel Kiper comment. What’s the basis for thinking he’d have fallen? Directly or indirectly, it’s probably based on mock drafts we've seen, or grades from prognosticators. I’d give very little weight to those things when it comes to small-school players that NFL scouting departments don’t want to tip their hands on.

The best evidence regarding where he was likely to be drafted, IMO, is where he was actually drafted.

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36 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

This is what I was getting at with my Mel Kiper comment. What’s the basis for thinking he’d have fallen? Directly or indirectly, it’s probably based on mock drafts we've seen, or grades from prognosticators. I’d give very little weight to those things when it comes to small-school players that NFL scouting departments don’t want to tip their hands on.

The best evidence regarding where he was likely to be drafted, IMO, is where he was actually drafted.

I don't agree, since this implies a silly conclusion that every player small school player is drafted exactly where he should have been drafted, i.e., exactly where his true draft value dictated.

I simply don't believe that is true, and I don't believe it was true in this specific case.

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4 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

I don't agree, since this implies a silly conclusion that every player small school player is drafted exactly where he should have been drafted, i.e., exactly where his true draft value dictated.

I simply don't believe that is true, and I don't believe it was true in this specific case.

It doesn't imply that at all. What it implies is that we have no good indication about where such a player would have otherwise been drafted, and speculation about it is inherently kind of empty.

We can speculate anyway for entertainment purposes, but any such speculation warrants low confidence.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

Drue tranquill!!!

Not impressed with this pick, but can't have high expectations in the 4th round. Could he be a replacement for Dzubnar as a special teams only "LB"? The team could recover some cap money by releasing Dzubnar.

Maybe Telesco wants to address the OL problem by trying to sign a bargain veteran, in which case he might need to cap room. Or maybe same approach to interior DL, which is still short by at least 1 player.

ETA: Or maybe they see him as a Phillips replacement in 2020 and beyond?

Pretty disappointed DT Wren was taken at 4.23. Would much rather have him than Pipkins.

Edited by Just Win Baby

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Delaware, Sioux Falls, North Dakota State, Cincinnati... if the Chargers traded away next year's 1st to pick up another 2nd, I'd swear that Beathard was calling the shots again.

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Posted (edited)

Fourth update on this post, post draft.

Per Spotrac, the Chargers currently have 88 players under contract for 2019. Here is a list of those players and draft picks, along with their current/notional 2019 cap hits:

  1. QB Philip Rivers $23,000,000
  2. OLB Melvin Ingram $19,625,000
  3. LT Russell Okung $15,968,750
  4. WR Keenan Allen $12,150,000
  5. CB Casey Hayward $10,000,000
  6. C Mike Pouncey $9,250,000
  7. DE Joey Bosa $8,232,538
  8. RB Melvin Gordon $5,605,000
  9. WR Mike Williams $5,386,344
  10. G Michael Schofield $4,500,000
  11. DT Brandon Mebane $4,300,000
  12. WR Travis Benjamin $3,750,000
  13. QB Tyrod Taylor $3,500,000
  14. MLB Denzel Perryman $3,475,000
  15. TE Virgil Green $3,300,000
  16. OLB Thomas Davis $3,250,000
  17. S Derwin James $2,815,671
  18. ILB Jatavis Brown $2,071,097
  19. DT Jerry Tillery $2,070,726*
  20. TE Hunter Henry $2,030,100
  21. CB Trevor Williams $2,025,000
  22. S Adrian Phillips $2,000,000
  23. ILB Nick Dzubnar $1,922,500
  24. G Forrest Lamp $1,818,251
  25. LB Uchenna Nwosu $1,308,994
  26. LS Mike Windt $1,085,000
  27. G Dan Feeney $1,024,158
  28. FS Nasir Adderley $858,992*
  29. DT Justin Jones $835,016
  30. S Rayshawn Jenkins $810,552
  31. DT T.Y. McGill $805,000
  32. FB Derek Watt $752,422
  33. WR Geremy Davis $735,000
  34. OLB Kyzir White $733,610
  35. DE Anthony Lanier $720,000
  36. CB Desmond King $714,998
  37. T Trey Pipkins $713,433*
  38. S Jaylen Watkins $705,000 - note that he reportedly signed a 1 year, $895K contract, but both Spotrac and Over the Cap show his cap hit as $705K... not sure why
  39. T Sam Tevi $685,447
  40. LB Drue Tranquill $659,075*
  41. TE Sean Culkin $649,000
  42. RB Austin Ekeler $646,668
  43. CB Michael Davis $645,000
  44. G Spencer Drango $645,000
  45. QB Cardale Jones $645,000
  46. WR Vince Mayle $645,000
  47. RB Troymaine Pope $645,000
  48. DL Isaac Rochell $645,000
  49. C Scott Quessenberry $641,063
  50. CB Brandon Facyson $573,333
  51. K Michael Badgley $570,000
  52. WR Dylan Cantrell $570,000
  53. RB Justin Jackson $570,000
  54. OLB Tre'Von Johnson $570,000
  55. RB Detrez Newsome $570,000
  56. CB Jeff Richards $570,000
  57. G Trenton Scott $570,000
  58. LB Kyle Wilson $570,000
  59. QB Easton Stick $564,390*
  60. LB Emeke Egbule $534,252*
  61. DT Cortez Broughton $514,504*
  62. T Zachary Crabtree $500,000
  63. DE Patrick Afriyie $495,000
  64. G Chris Brown $495,000
  65. DT Eurndraus Bryant $495,000
  66. T Blake Camper $495,000
  67. LB Josh Corcoran $495,000
  68. RB Jeremy Cox $495,000
  69. CB Kemon Hall $495,000
  70. TE Daniel Helm $495,000
  71. DT Reggie Howard $495,000
  72. CB Bradford Lemmons $495,000
  73. WR Justice Liggins $495,000
  74. P Ty Long $495,000
  75. G Koda Martin $495,000
  76. LS Cole Mazza $495,000
  77. WR Jason Moore $495,000
  78. P Tyler Newsome $495,000
  79. WR Andre Patton $495,000
  80. DE Chris Peace $495,000
  81. S Rodney Randle $495,000
  82. TE Austin Roberts $495,000
  83. WR Artavis Scott $495,000
  84. TE Matt Sokol $495,000
  85. S Arrion Springs $495,000
  86. WR Trevion Thompson $495,000
  87. C Tanner Volson $495,000
  88. LB Elijah Zeise $495,000

* Projected contract value

That is 88 players for 53 roster spots, without accounting for additional transactions. That means at least 35 players on the list above will not make the final roster. I assume these players will not make it:

  1. ILB Nick Dzubnar
  2. G Spencer Drango
  3. QB Cardale Jones
  4. WR Vince Mayle
  5. RB Troymaine Pope
  6. OLB Tre'Von Johnson
  7. RB Detrez Newsome
  8. CB Jeff Richards
  9. G Trenton Scott
  10. LB Kyle Wilson
  11. T Zachary Crabtree
  12. DE Patrick Afriye
  13. G Chris Brown
  14. DT Eurndraus Bryant
  15. T Blake Camper
  16. LB Josh Corcoran
  17. RB Jeremy Cox
  18. CB Kemon Hall
  19. TE Daniel Helm
  20. DT Reggie Howard
  21. CB Bradford Lemmons
  22. WR Justice Liggins
  23. G Koda Martin
  24. LS Cole Mazza
  25. WR Jason Moore
  26. P Tyler Newsome
  27. WR Andre Patton
  28. DE Chris Peace
  29. S Rodney Randle
  30. TE Austin Roberts
  31. TE Matt Sokol
  32. S Arrion Springs
  33. WR Trevion Thompson
  34. C Tanner Volson
  35. LB Elijah Zeise

IMO Dzubnar becomes a cap casualty with the drafting of QB Stick (Taysom Hill like special teams player?), Tranquill, and Egbule. I'm projecting that the rest of these guys just won't be good enough, though I'm sure I will miss on a few of them.

That leaves this 53:

  1. QB Philip Rivers
  2. OLB Melvin Ingram
  3. LT Russell Okung
  4. WR Keenan Allen
  5. CB Casey Hayward
  6. C Mike Pouncey
  7. DE Joey Bosa
  8. RB Melvin Gordon
  9. WR Mike Williams
  10. G Michael Schofield
  11. DT Brandon Mebane
  12. WR Travis Benjamin
  13. QB Tyrod Taylor
  14. MLB Denzel Perryman
  15. TE Virgil Green
  16. OLB Thomas Davis
  17. S Derwin James
  18. ILB Jatavis Brown
  19. DT Jerry Tillery
  20. TE Hunter Henry
  21. CB Trevor Williams
  22. S Adrian Phillips
  23. G Forrest Lamp
  24. LB Uchenna Nwosu
  25. LS Mike Windt
  26. G Dan Feeney
  27. FS Nasir Adderley
  28. DT Justin Jones
  29. S Rayshawn Jenkins
  30. DT T.Y. McGill
  31. FB Derek Watt
  32. WR Geremy Davis
  33. OLB Kyzir White
  34. DE Anthony Lanier
  35. CB Desmond King
  36. T Trey Pipkins
  37. S Jaylen Watkins
  38. T Sam Tevi
  39. LB Drue Tranquill
  40. TE Sean Culkin
  41. RB Austin Ekeler
  42. CB Michael Davis
  43. DL Isaac Rochell
  44. C Scott Quessenberry
  45. CB Brandon Facyson
  46. K Michael Badgley
  47. WR Dylan Cantrell
  48. RB Justin Jackson
  49. QB Easton Stick
  50. LB Emeke Egbule
  51. DT Cortez Broughton
  52. P Ty Long
  53. WR Artavis Scott

Here is that 53 man roster above sorted by position:

  • QB (3) - Rivers, Taylor, Stick (R)
  • RB (3) - Gordon, Ekeler, Jackson
  • FB (1) - Watt
  • WR (6) - Allen, Williams, Benjamin, Davis, Cantrell, Scott
  • TE (3) - Henry, Green, Culkin
  • T (3) - LT Okung, RT Tevi, Pipkins (R)
  • G (3) - RG Schofield, LG Feeney, Lamp
  • C (2) - Pouncey, Quessenberry
  • DT (5) - Tillery (R), Mebane, Jones, McGill, Broughton (R)
  • Edge (5) - DE Bosa, LEO Ingram, Rochell, Lanier, Egbule (R)
  • LB (6) - SLB/OTTO Davis, MLB Perryman, WLB White, Brown, Nwosu, Tranquill (R)
  • CB (5) - Hayward, Williams, King, Davis, Facyson
  • S (5) - SS James, FS Adderley (R), Phillips, Jenkins, Watkins
  • PK (1) - Badgley
  • P (1) - Long
  • LS (1) - Windt

This roster looks very strong, particularly on defense. There are a number of factors that should make this defense elite in 2019:

  1. This draft added impact starters at 2 positions of need in DT Tillery and FS Adderley. It also added useful depth in Tranquill, Egbule, and Broughton.
  2. Last season, the defense lost more than 60 starts to injury. That seems unlikely to be repeated, which means Bradley should have much greater flexibility in scheme and matchups than he did last season, particularly down the stretch and in the playoffs.
  3. As great as James was last season, he and last year's rookies on defense (James, Nwosu, and Jones) should be improved.

All that said, some weaknesses remain:

  1. The OL still looks very weak. Same as last season except Pipkins and Lamp. Pipkins seems unlikely to contribute much in 2019. If Lamp could elevate his play to the level of his draft position and claim a starting spot, it would be a significant upgrade. Fingers crossed. Telesco could also look to add a bargain veteran here.
  2. Interior DL replaces Liuget, Philon, and Square with Tillery and Broughton. The fact that Liuget missed most of the season helps this comparison, but this position group still looks weak and a bit undermanned. I expect Telesco will address this by adding a veteran at some point, maybe Liuget. (Suh seems pretty doubtful to me due to cap implications.)
  3. WR depth doesn't look great today. Cantrell and Scott could change that with a strong camp and preseason; I know many Chargers fans are higher on them than I am. Regardless, with strong pass catching backs and the return of Henry, this should not be a true problem unless Allen or Williams get hurt.

So let's examine the 2019 salary cap. All data from Spotrac.

  1. The NFL cap for 2019 is $188.2M. The team carries over $1,016,504 from 2018.
  2. Spotrac shows a negative adjustment for $1,850,000. I don't know what that is for.
  3. The total cap hit for that 53 man roster above is $171,383,384.
  4. The team is currently carrying $4,231,085 in dead cap money for 2019. Releasing Dzubnar adds $397,500 in 2019 dead cap money.
  5. The team will extend Rivers' contract this offseason, but I am going to assume that his cap figure remains the same. Spotrac estimates that his contract value will average ~$26.7M per year.

That leaves $11,355,035 of the 2019 cap unaccounted for. Telesco will reserve some of that for IR and the practice squad. I'm not sure what to estimate for that, but I will assume $3,355,035 to leave a nice round number of $8M remaining for signing additional free agents and/or restructuring.

That is enough to re-sign Gates and Liuget or another combination of veterans (e.g., veteran OL) who aren't priced at the high end (like Suh, for example).

Of course, I projected no UDFAs to make the final roster, and I didn't attempt to account for more additions via free agency, so there will be more changes. I would say these players are the most at risk, in no particular order:

  1. QB Stick (R) - if team doesn't want to carry 3 QBs on active roster
  2. T Pipkins (R) - if pushed to practice squad by addition of veteran... but I doubt they would want to risk him on the PS
  3. WR Cantrell - possible numbers game at WR
  4. WR Scott - possible numbers game at WR
  5. TE Culkin - if Gates re-signed, beaten out by UDFA Helm, or another TE added
  6. DT Broughton (R) - if pushed to practice squad by addition of veteran or if beaten out by UDFA
  7. DT McGill - see Broughton
  8. DE Lanier - if beaten out by Afriye or better DE added
  9. DE Egbule (R) - if pushed to practice squad by others... would they want to risk him on the PS?
  10. CB Facyson - if beaten out by Richards or UDFA
  11. P Long - if beaten out by UDFA Newsome; I hope Long is the guy, because not only can he handle the punter role, he can also handle kickoffs, which is a weak point for Badgley... but Long wasn't good enough to make the NFL without first spending time in the CFL, so hard to assume he is a lock

I look forward to the rest of the offseason moves and the draft. I hope Telesco makes good use of that $8M.

Thoughts?

Edited by Just Win Baby

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1 hour ago, Gr00vus said:

So, we're not feeling good about the draft?

I think most people feel good about the team's first two picks. After that it's mixed.

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1 hour ago, Gr00vus said:

So, we're not feeling good about the draft?

I think it was a very good draft overall, especially given the late draft position. The first 2 picks were home runs IMO. I don't really like the 3rd and 5th round choices and would have preferred others there, but I think the 4th, 6th, and 7th picks were good and helped to recover from the 3rd and 5th picks.

The Chargers had 3 primary issues entering the draft: interior DL, FS, and RT. They helped the first by adding Tillery, who will hopefully start. They addressed the second by adding Adderley, who should definitely start. They drafted Pipkins who may eventually help at OT, but hard to expect that this season, so RT remains a problem.

They also had some lesser needs at G, WR depth, and TE depth. They didn't address G, but perhaps they expect Lamp to help there. They didn't address WR, which is what I would have done in the 5th. They didn't address TE depth, but could still re-sign Gates or just roll with Culkin.

You can only hope to accomplish so much in one draft with normal picks (i.e., without extra picks) and picking late. I think Telesco did a good job and had one of his better drafts.

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Posted (edited)

More on the defense:

  • DT (5) - Tillery (R), Mebane, Jones, McGill, Broughton (R)
  • Edge (5) - DE Bosa, LEO Ingram, Rochell, Lanier, Egbule (R)
  • LB (6) - SLB/OTTO Davis, MLB Perryman, WLB White, Brown, Nwosu, Tranquill (R)
  • CB (5) - Hayward, Williams, King, Davis, Facyson
  • S (5) - SS James, FS Adderley (R), Phillips, Jenkins, Watkins

First off, I think it is possible Telesco adds a veteran DT. Maybe Liuget. Not sure if that would push McGill or Broughton off the roster or would push someone out at another position (Facyson?). Let's say that happens, and it is Liuget for Facyson.

Assuming everyone is healthy all season is unrealistic, but let's start out that way:

  • Liuget and Mebane would probably start, with Tillery and Jones next in the rotation and McGill and Broughton getting mixed in here and there to keep everyone fresh. Compared to last year, that would mean Liuget (full season), Mebane (full season), and Tillery instead of Liuget (6 games), Mebane (13 of 18 games), and Square. That looks like a significant upgrade, particularly rushing the passer from the interior.
  • Bosa should play a full season. The combination of that and the stronger interior DL and LB play should help Ingram to rebound and play better this season. Rochell should be improved over his rookie season. Nwosu can also play an edge rusher role on passing downs, and he should also be improved in his second year. Egbule is also seemingly a candidate to back up Ingram, so pass rush depth may be further improved. Looks like an improved pass rush all the way around.
  • Davis can play either SLB/OTTO or WLB. I assumed above that he would start at SLB/OTTO, with Nwosu backing him up and replacing him on passing downs. Davis will probably play significantly fewer snaps than he did for Carolina last season, which should help him stay fresh and healthy. He should help the run defense.
  • Perryman has obviously proven that he makes a difference in the run defense. He should play most first and second downs and depart the field in nickel/dime situations. Tranquill will presumably be his depth chart backup, but, if Perryman were to miss significant time, I expect Davis or Brown would fill in more than Tranquill, unless he is really strong out of the gate as a rookie.
  • White looked great at WLB before he got hurt last season. Granted, he only played 3 games. But starting Davis at SLB/OTTO clears the way for White to start. Brown is a very capable backup behind him if his performance regresses, and Davis can also slide over there if needed.
  • Last season, LB depth was a real problem. Telesco definitely seems to have fixed that entering 2019, and this unit has a lot of versatility.
  • Addae probably cost the Chargers at least 2 games last season. Adderley should be an immediate and significant upgrade.
  • Trevor Williams will be back and hopefully can play up to his 2017 level. If not, Davis got a lot of experience last season and should be able to fill in capably.
  • They get Jaylen Watkins back and still have Phillips and Jenkins for depth. Overall, I don't think the DBs will outsnap the LBs as much this year, so all of these guys should remain fresh.
  • The entire secondary should improve from improved DL and LB play.

Now, obviously there will be injuries. But last season, the Chargers lost 65+ starts on defense. Hopefully, they won't suffer at such an extreme this year. And the depth looks quite a bit stronger at this point than last year, which will help when guys miss time.

If they mostly avoid the injuries, this could easily be a top 3 defense.

Edited by Just Win Baby

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Posted (edited)

Some possible roster changes from last year to this year

S Jahleel Addae -> Nasir Adderley

DT Corey Liuget -> Jerry Tillery

WR Tyrell Williams -> Travis Benjamin

OG Michael Schofield -> Forrest Lamp

RT Sam Tevi -> Trey Pipkins

LB Jatavis Brown -> Thomas Davis

Edited by bicycle_seat_sniffer

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14 hours ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

Some possible roster changes from last year to this year

S Jahleel Addae -> Nasir Adderley

DT Corey Liuget -> Jerry Tillery

WR Tyrell Williams -> Travis Benjamin

OG Michael Schofield -> Forrest Lamp

RT Sam Tevi -> Trey Pipkins

LB Jatavis Brown -> Thomas Davis

I assume you mean lineup changes, not roster changes. Schofield, Tevi, and Brown are going to be on the roster.

And even if you do mean lineup changes, it would be a huge surprise to see Pipkins start a game this season. He might not even be on the active roster on gamedays.

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52 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

I assume you mean lineup changes, not roster changes. Schofield, Tevi, and Brown are going to be on the roster.

And even if you do mean lineup changes, it would be a huge surprise to see Pipkins start a game this season. He might not even be on the active roster on gamedays.

That was someone elses tweet.....just sharing.....if pipkins is playing its either an all time steal.....or its due to injury and could be devastating

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Posted (edited)

The Chargers Team Report is posted. I don't know if one person wrote it or if the sections were divided up... maybe @Maurile Tremblay can comment. Regardless, I have a couple of comments/questions.

Quote

LINEBACKERS
Starters: MLB Denzel Perryman, WLB Jatavis Brown, SLB Thomas Davis
Backups: OLB Kyzir White, OLB Drue Tranquill [R], MLB Emeke Egbule [R]
Starting LBs: Perryman is a serviceable starter in the middle. He's a solid tackler who posted a career-best 6.4 a game in an injury-shortened 2018. But there's not much else to his game, and not much dynamism for a fantasy LB prospect. He's forced just 3 turnovers over 39 career games, and he hasn't recorded a sack since 2016. The fact that he's yet to play more than 13 games in a season doesn't inspire much confidence; there are far more inspiring LB2 plays with significantly more upside. Brown offers a bit more playmaking opportunity - he posted 97 tackles and 5 pass breakups in 2018. He's also struggled a bit with injuries, but offers sneaky upside on the LB2/3 borderline. Davis comes to town after a storied 14-year career in Carolina. He'll draw the start on the strong side and brings across-the-field ability, but the Chargers don't often utilize three linebackers at once. Last year's top strong-side guy, Kyle Emanuel, drew just 216 snaps.

Backup LBs: White was a fourth-round pick last season and opened his career in a prominent linebacker/safety hybrid role. He played 142 snaps over the first 3 weeks before landing on IR, but he impressed enough to return to the top of the rotation. Especially strong in coverage, White recorded 17 tackles and 3 pass breakups before going down. He could push any of the team's nominal starters for a bigger role in 2019. Rookie Tranquill is built in a similar mold as an athletic former safety; he could conceivably work his way past White. Nwosu, last year's second-round pick, drew just 268 defensive snaps as a rookie. He did show well off the edge late in the season, however, notching 3.0 sacks over the Chargers' final 5 games (playoffs included). He was a big-time playmaker at USC and could be primed for a sophomore leap. Egbule was a solid tackler in school and could see meaningful first-year snaps behind the injury-prone Denzel Perryman.

1. White beat out Brown to open the season as the starting WLB last year and had 12 tackles, 1 interception, and 1 pass breakup in 3 games. It is perhaps worth noting that those 3 games were vs. KC, @BUF, and @LAR... a couple of tough matchups in there, especially for a rookie WLB.

Brown has 1 year left on his contract, and, with all the LB talent the team has drafted and signed, I expect this is his last season with the Chargers. Combining those facts, I don't see any reason to expect Brown to start over White. I think this report is off base on White and Brown.

2. I like the idea of Davis starting at OTTO/SLB, backed up by Nwosu, but I haven't seen that reported anywhere. Anyone have a source? Davis played WLB in Carolina.

3. As for the rookies, Tranquill is characterized as OLB here, but I was expecting he would back up Perryman. If not, maybe Brown is the backup MLB, not backup WLB.

4. Egbule will supposedly back up Ingram at the LEO position, but is shown here as a MLB. I think that is off base.

Quote

Starters: SS Derwin James, FS Adrian Phillips, CB Casey Hayward, CB Trevor Williams
Backups: CB Desmond King, SS Rayshawn Jenkins, FS Nasir Adderley [R], CB Michael Davis, FS Jaylen Watkins
Starting DBs: The Chargers' top-tier secondary only got better in 2018. James was nothing short of a rookie revelation, immediately boosting an elite secondary up to arguably the league's best. Adept in both the pass and run games, James filled the stat sheet in his debut, recording 106 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 13 pass breakups, and 3 interceptions. He shone like a seasoned veteran from Week 1 on, and his IDP future is exceptionally bright. He's a slam-dunk DB1. Phillips impressed as well, seeing the field plenty in lieu of a third linebacker and putting up 94 tackles (with 10 passes defensed) in the process. As an every-down starter, he projects as a sneaky DB2 with a depressed price point. Hayward is an elite cover man, which actually hurt his fantasy value in 2018. With quarterbacks afraid to test him often, Hayward was a mediocre tackler and producer, far more valuable to the Chargers than to fantasy rosters. Still, he's fully capable of making plays on the ball - he broke up 42 passes and picked off 11 more from 2016-17. In formats that require cornerbacks, he's among the top tier. Williams dazzled in 2017, but struggled through a poor, injury-marred 2018. He'll return to start on the boundary, but is the clear weak spot in this group.

Backup DBs: King was one of the league's premier slot cornerbacks in 2018, and he's a true playmaking force. He's totaled 137 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 14 pass breakups, and 4 interceptions over his 2 seasons, and carries intrigue in formats that require cornerbacks. The Chargers trot out far more nickel and dime packages than base ones, so Jenkins should see a solid chunk of play. Last season, Adrian Phillips drew 683 snaps in the third safety role and produced usable fantasy numbers (94 tackles and 10 pass breakups). Jenkins isn't quite the same player, but will see the field plenty and carry big DB2/3 appeal in the event of an injury. Adderley will also play a fair amount - he was taken in the second round to provide even more playmaking depth after intercepting 11 passes at Delaware. He shredded the combine with truly special speed and jump marks, and could develop into an elite centerfield type. Davis has the inside track on the No. 4 cornerback spot, while Watkins faces an uphill roster battle after losing his 2018 to an ACL tear.

1. No way Phillips starts at FS over Adderley (barring injury). Adderley was the top FS in the draft. He is a day one starter and impact player. This is a fantasy report, and it is missing the mark at FS. This is important, since he stands to play the "Earl Thomas" single high FS role in Bradley's defense, which is a playmaking role.

2. As for the bolded, that was an artifact of LB injuries and lack of LB talent the past 2 seasons. Consider last season:

  • At SLB, Emanuel was a very weak starter, who has now retired from the NFL.
  • Nwosu was a rookie, who played less than 30% of the team's snaps.
  • At MLB, Perryman got hurt and missed 9 games (really 10).
  • At WLB, White got hurt and missed 15 games.
  • Backup WLB/MLB Brown missed 3 games.
  • They were forced to play Pullard 8 games. He is a JAG who may not play in the NFL this season.

Contrast that to the current situation:

  • Perryman is re-signed and he, Brown, and White have returned from their injuries.
  • The team signed veteran Davis, who played more than 54 snaps per game last year in Carolina, and played very well despite his age. If he steps into the OTTO/SLB role, he is replacing Emanuel, who played less than 16 snaps per game last season.
  • The team drafted Tranquill to add depth.
  • Nwosu has a year of experience and should be improved.
  • JAGs Emanuel and Pullard are gone.

The team not only added talent and experience to the LB group, but also versatility. Davis can play all 3 LB spots, and Tranquill and Brown can play both WLB and MLB.

Bottom line, the LB talent should be significantly upgraded. Barring a similarly significant rash of injuries to the LB group this year, I very seriously doubt that Jenkins or Phillips will play many snaps on defense. (Both should play heavy special teams snaps, though.)

Edited by Just Win Baby

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Posted (edited)

This was posted in another thread about the Chargers schedule this year:

On 5/9/2019 at 2:56 PM, Concept Coop said:

The LAC schedule is pretty solid, tougher than last season: Colts, Packers, Steelers, Vikings, Chiefs (x2), Texans, Bears, Jags. The Raiders are going to score more than 8 points a game against them. The Broncos should be better too.

So I decided I wanted to post it in here and comment on the schedule.

First, common opponents in 2019 and 2018:

  • KC x2 - The Chargers split these games in 2018. The Chiefs lost Hunt and probably Hill on offense; they lost Houston, Ford, and Berry on defense but added Clark and Mathieu. All things considered, they should remain a very strong team, but may be a bit weaker. I think another split is the most likely outcome. It is worth noting that the Chargers' "home" game in this series is in Mexico.
  • OAK x2 - The Chargers swept OAK last year. While they seem likely to be better in 2019, they have not closed the gap, and another Chargers sweep seems likely.
  • DEN x2 - The Chargers split with DEN in 2018, and absolutely should have won the game they lost. DEN seems likely to be improved in 2019, but the Chargers seem clearly better. I could see a split here, but IMO a Chargers sweep is more likely and that is what I predict at this point.
  • PIT - The Chargers won at PIT in 2018. Since then, PIT lost Antonio Brown on offense, which has not been offset. This time they play on Sunday night in LA. I see no reason to expect anything other than a Chargers win.
  • TEN - The Chargers defeated TEN in London last season. This year, they play at TEN. TEN was 9-7 last season and could certainly be improved. I'd call this game a toss-up, although I think the Chargers are the better team.

I think the Chargers go 6-2 or 7-1 against that group.

Next, the Chargers face these opponents that are not common to 2018: IND, @DET, HOU, @MIA, @CHI, GB, @JAX, MIN.

  • In 2018, the collective record of that group was 65-61-2.
  • IND, HOU, and CHI were playoff teams.

That compares to these opponents in 2018: @BUF, @LAR, SF, @CLE, @SEA, ARI, CIN, BAL.

  • In 2018, the collective record of that group was 59-68-1.
  • LAR, SEA, and BAL were playoff teams.

On the surface, it looks pretty close, but:

  • IND, HOU, CHI, GB, and MIN are all playoff contenders. JAX may be as well.  That probably makes the 2019 group tougher than the 2018 group. I see the Chargers at least splitting those 6 games, and it is certainly possible they could win 4 or 5.
  • They should also beat DET and MIA, but they have traditionally had a poor record in MIA... long road trip and early (for them) start time. I think they beat DET but could win or lose at MIA.
  • Overall, I predict 5-3 against this group.

Put it all together, and I think 11 wins is the expected floor, and 12-14 wins is possible. (With the caveat that the Chargers do not suffer major injuries like they did last season on defense.)

I have to agree with @Concept Coop that this schedule is at least marginally tougher than the 2018 schedule, at least as things look right now.

Edited by Just Win Baby
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Cap update:

  • Per Spotrac, the Chargers' available cap space for Top 51 contracts is ~$12.9M.
  • But that number does not account for Tillery, Adderley, Pipkins, or Square.
  • Tillery, Adderley, and Pipkins cap hits are known and total ~$3.6M. But they will also displace 3 other players in the top 51, which gains a Top 51 credit of ~$1.9M. So a net hit of ~$1.7M.
  • Not sure about Square. His cap hit last season was ~$2.6M, but his 2018 salary was $2M. Assume he gets a raise? Maybe 10% raise, meaning he will count for $2.2M. He will displace another player in the top 51, for a credit of ~$650K. So a net hit of ~$1.6M.
  • Not sure how much they will reserve for practice squad and IR, maybe $3M or so?
  • That means they could have as much as $6.6M to spend.

That doesn’t account for extending/restructuring Rivers, though.

  • He already has $12M in bonuses due to hit the 2019 cap:
    • $5M 2019 roster bonus
    • $4.5M pro-rated signing bonus from his current contract, signed in 2015
    • $2.5M pro-rated restructuring bonus, where he had salary converted to bonus in both 2016 and 2017 in order to clear cap space
    • He has already been paid all of those bonuses. They have to hit the 2019 cap.
  • Now consider that he signs a new deal with a signing bonus. Suppose he signs a 2 year extension with a $30M signing bonus. That means $10M of that signing bonus hits the 2019 cap.
  • Then there is his salary. Maybe they could minimize that in 2019, say $1M.
  • Add it all up, and his 2019 cap hit is $23M. Exactly the same as his current 2019 cap hit.
  • But IMO for him to take "just" a $30M signing bonus is below market value and would represent a hometown discount. This is easily shown by just looking at the contract Roethlisberger signed this offseason – $37.5M signing bonus on a 2 year contract extension. Rivers could easily get more than $30M, in which case his cap number goes up.

There is also the open question of whether they will bring back Gates. If they do, it seems like they are pretty much done in free agency.

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The team could be considering signing Gordon to a contract extension. I hope not.

Consider the 2020 cap situation. Per Spotrac, as of right now:

  • The Chargers have 52 players under contract for 2020, not including Tillery, Adderley, or Pipkins, since they haven’t signed their contracts yet. Adding them makes 55, but I suspect at least 20 of those players won’t make the final 2020 roster.
  • The Chargers have $42.4M in available 2020 cap space after accounting for those 52 players under contract.
  • Tillery, Adderley, and Pipkins will probably take about $4.5M of that 2020 cap space.
  • If the bottom 20 players don’t make the final roster, that frees up about $12M in 2020 cap space.
  • TE Green is one obvious candidate to be a cap casualty. Releasing him after the 2019 season would free up another $2.7M.
  • Add it all up, and the Chargers should have about $53M to work with for 2020 with about 34 players identified for the final roster.

But:

  • Telesco will presumably reserve $3-4M for practice squad and injuries. To make it convenient, I will assume $3M, leaving a nice, even $50M remaining.
  • I expect they will extend Rivers by at least 2 seasons, and his 2020 cap hit will likely be around $30M.
  • Their draft picks should take at least $6M in cap space.

That leaves about $14M in cap space without signing any free agents, internal or external. They will need at least 10 more players or so to fill out the final roster.

Notable internal free agents after the 2019 season aside from Gordon include C Pouncey, TE Henry, RG Schofield, RB Ekeler, FB Watt, DE Rochell, DT Square, LB Brown, CB Williams, CB Davis, and DB Phillips. Most of these guys probably won’t be back, but the ones who the team will prioritize (probably Pouncey, Henry, and at least 1 CB) will likely cost more than $14M collectively.

There will be more cap adjustments, cap casualties, restructuring, etc. These are just very rough numbers. But you can easily see how the team could spend to its cap without re-signing Gordon or any external free agents.

Now consider that the team has what seems to be excellent RB depth in Ekeler, Jackson, and Newsome, and could obviously also draft a RB in the 2020 draft. I just cannot see it making cap sense to try to keep Gordon.

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From The best quarterback to receiver tandems in the NFL for 2019, these are the career numbers for Rivers targeting Henry, Ekeler, and Mike Williams:

  • 197 completions in 266 attempts = 74.1% completion percentage
  • 2475 passing yards = 9.3 YPA
  • 28 TDs = 10.5% TD percentage
  • 1 interception = 0.4% interception percentage
  • 136.09 passer rating

That is pretty impressive. More impressive than the results for Rivers passing to Allen and Gordon, though I realize the defensive attention those two draw probably has a beneficial effect on the numbers above.

I’d like to see 250+ targets for Henry, Williams, and Ekeler this season, assuming they can all stay healthy.

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It's kind of crazy how a team with so many deficiencies has so little cap space. It could be worse though. We could be Cardinals fans.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

REPORT: Melvin Gordon and the Chargers have began contract negotiations (via @eric_d_williams)

I was afraid of this...

At the very least, I would prefer that the team would let Gordon play out this season to make sure he is healthy and buy more time before committing the kind of money he wants to a RB. A better move IMO would be to let him play it out and walk, and draft another RB in next season's draft if they are not content to move forward with Jackson, Ekeler, and Newsome.

Edited by Just Win Baby
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LT Russell Okung also did not practice due to an undisclosed injury, according to Lynn. Asked of Okung’s injury could be long-term, Lynn said: “We don’t know yet.” Sam Tevi shifted over to left tackle with Okung out, and Trent Scott played right tackle.

 

Ffs

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On 6/11/2019 at 11:25 PM, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

LT Russell Okung also did not practice due to an undisclosed injury, according to Lynn. Asked of Okung’s injury could be long-term, Lynn said: “We don’t know yet.” Sam Tevi shifted over to left tackle with Okung out, and Trent Scott played right tackle.

 

Ffs

:wall: 

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On 6/11/2019 at 11:25 PM, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

 Sam Tevi shifted over to left tackle with Okung out, and Trent Scott played right tackle.

I mean... offensive tackles aren't that important anyway, right?

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3 hours ago, Despyzer said:

FS Profile - Jenkins, Watkins, or Adderley?

It would be a huge disappointment if it isn't Adderley. I think he wins the job in a runaway.

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Unless he has a new deal, Chargers’ RB Melvin Gordon will not report to training camp, not when he currently is scheduled to be heading into the last year of his contract, a fifth-year option, worth $5.6 million dollars.

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1 hour ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

Unless he has a new deal, Chargers’ RB Melvin Gordon will not report to training camp, not when he currently is scheduled to be heading into the last year of his contract, a fifth-year option, worth $5.6 million dollars.

I hope the Chargers don't cave. As far as I'm concerned, he can hold out for the entire season, and he will just hurt himself in the same way Bell hurt himself. The Chargers are good enough to win without Gordon IMO, and I do not want to see them give him a contract to his satisfaction.

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Per Tom Telesco, Russell Okung started dealing with a "pretty serious medical issue" in early June. He's "doing better" and getting "great care." Could miss all of training camp. Okung will provide more details at tomorrow's opening practice #Chargers

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A long holdout for Melvin Gordon makes little sense, as he’s subject to lose $30,000 per camp day missed, $329,705 per pre/regular season game missed, & were he to miss the whole season his salary would likely toll to 2020, meaning the #Chargers would still hold his rights.

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49 minutes ago, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

A long holdout for Melvin Gordon makes little sense, as he’s subject to lose $30,000 per camp day missed, $329,705 per pre/regular season game missed, & were he to miss the whole season his salary would likely toll to 2020, meaning the #Chargers would still hold his rights.

Typically in these situations, teams refund the camp fines. I wish the Chargers would not do that, but they probably will if he comes back before the regular season.

More importantly, I agree the $329K per game is enough that his holdout will not last long into the season, if at all.

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4 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

Typically in these situations, teams refund the camp fines. I wish the Chargers would not do that, but they probably will if he comes back before the regular season.

More importantly, I agree the $329K per game is enough that his holdout will not last long into the season, if at all.

he is getting  some pretty bad advice im guessing....

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Yeah, I'm not so sure Gordon is playing this right. He's only had one season when he's averaged over four yards per carry, and he has a reputation for being fragile. His backups are strong and deep. He doesn't have the reputation that Bell had, and unlike Bell, he's still under contract. He's not exactly bargaining from a position of power. 

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On 8/16/2019 at 2:52 PM, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

derwin james....broken foot.....what the duck.....team is beyond cursed

Out 3-4 months. Oof. 

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Things could be better right now...

  • Pro Bowl LT Okung out indefinitely
  • All Pro SS James out until at least November
  • Pro Bowl RB Gordon holding out
  • Pro Bowl WR Allen nursing ankle injury
  • Rookie 1st round draft pick Tillery has been limited due to injury and probably will not be a starter to open the season
  • Rookie 2nd round draft pick Adderley has been limited due to injury and probably will not be a starter to open the season

But I don't find myself particularly worried about these issues other than Okung. It seems like the team has sufficient depth to handle them. I really hope the injury issues stop here, though...

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On 8/18/2019 at 7:32 AM, Just Win Baby said:

I really hope the injury issues stop here, though...

They hardly ever do.

On the plus side, Inman is back! That'll fix everything.

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Okung won't be back before midseason. Presumably the same is true for Gordon. James won't be back until late in the season. None of these are good things.

The most worrisome thing to me is the OL. Lamp is not opening the season as a starter again, meaning Feeney, Schofield, and Tevi will remain the starters at G and RT. All were among the worst at their positions last season. But at least last season, they had Okung, who graded out as their best OL and was there for 15 games to protect Rivers' blind side. Now they have... Trent Scott.

Fortunately, Rivers has been overcoming poor OL play for more than 10 years now, so hopefully he and the coaches will adjust to compensate. I expect they will want to run a lot, but not sure how effective the running game will be with this OL and without Gordon. I like Ekeler and Jackson, just not sure until we see it play out on the field for a few games. So I'm guessing a lot of quick passing with short routes will be a focus.

It is good that the schedule is favorable to open the season, which should allow some time to adjust and settle into dealing with the missing players.

I still have high hopes for a division title, hope that isn't wishful thinking. :football: 

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Ran across a link to this article on 2020 compensatory picks. Tyrell Williams is currently shown as a 4th round pick for the Chargers. If he plays enough snaps this season, that could move up to a 3rd. So I am definitely rooting for him to have a great season (other than the Chargers games) and stay healthy.

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The Chargers desperately missed Derwin James and Russell Okung against the Colts. Desperately. Both of them.

I think Melvin Gordon is the best running back on the team, but I don't think his absence affected the offense in Week 1 whatsoever. (It may affect it in future weeks.)

They didn’t miss Michael Badgley, eiher.

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6 hours ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

The Chargers desperately missed Derwin James and Russell Okung against the Colts. Desperately. Both of them.

I think Melvin Gordon is the best running back on the team, but I don't think his absence affected the offense in Week 1 whatsoever. (It may affect it in future weeks.)

They didn’t miss Michael Badgley, eiher.

Agree, and I think Okung was missed the most, as expected. Trent Scott was a disaster, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the worst graded OT in the league this week. 

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The offensive line is a concern. And the run defense seems pretty bad again. Mebane got pushed off the line on almost every play, even one on one blocking situations. I can't believe they couldn't find an upgrade for the interior D line.

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47 minutes ago, Gr00vus said:

The offensive line is a concern. And the run defense seems pretty bad again. Mebane got pushed off the line on almost every play, even one on one blocking situations. I can't believe they couldn't find an upgrade for the interior D line.

I'm not as worried about the run defense, for a few reasons:

  1. It was Tillery's first game. Although he is a stronger pass rusher than run defender, he should be better as he gets more reps.
  2. Perryman didn't play. We know the run defense is always better when he plays.
  3. James didn't play and will be back later in the season. We know the run defense will be better when he plays.
  4. The Colts have the best OL in the NFL.
  • Thinking 1

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