Tha Sports Junkies 101

Predicting Chargers Offensive Starters

Predicting Chargers Offensive Starters Eric Neitzel via Flickr


Predicting Chargers Offensive Starters

The Chargers offense will look a little different in the 2017 season. The Chargers will have new starters along the offensive line to protect Phillip Rivers. The offense will also see a familiar face with Keenan Allen returning from injury. With all the new additions and only a limited number of starting spots, competition will be fierce. Here are my predictions for the 2017 Chargers offensive starters.

Quarterback – Philip Rivers

No real surprise here. Rivers has been the Chargers starter for the past 176 games and that is not likely to change. The backup quarterback situation in LA is going to be the situation worth monitoring. Recently, the team acquired former Ohio State stud Cardale Jones from the Buffalo Bills. Jones has future starter potential but will come and compete for the backup job with incumbent Kellen Clemens.

Running Back – Melvin Gordon

The Chargers will be looking for Gordon to bring consistent production to the position for the first time since LT. After disappointing in his rookie season, Gordon recorded 12 total touchdowns and was three yards shy of rushing for 1,000.

Wide Receiver – Keenan Allen

Talent has never been the issue for Allen. When healthy Allen is one of the best wide receivers in the entire NFL. However, as I discussed earlier this week, health is the only problem. Truthfully the entire receiving corps will need to remain healthy if this team hopes to break out of their postseason drought.

Wide Receiver – Mike Williams

The Chargers first round pick has the potential to make an impact as soon as he steps on the field. The only question is when exactly he’ll step on the field. Eric D. Williams is reporting that the former Clemson star is likely to start training camp on the PUP list. This bodes well for Williams because if he can make it on the field for at least part of training camp he should be set for the regular season opener.

Wide Receiver – Travis Benjamin

There can be a couple different starters depending on training camp performances. In recent years the Chargers have shown that they will play the best players regardless of pedigree or contracts. Based on talent and health Benjamin edges out last season’s breakout star, Tyrell Williams, by a small margin for the final starting wide receiver spot.

Tight End – Hunter Henry

I’ll be wrong about this prediction if Antonio Gates keeps drinking from the fountain of youth. For argument’s sake, let’s pretend Gates plays like his age. IF that’s the case, Henry will be in prime position to take over the Chargers starting tight end position After exploding onto the scene in his rookie season the Chargers will have to feed the beast in his sophomore campaign.

Left Tackle – Russell Okung

The Chargers signed left tackle Okung, to a four-year contract worth up to $53 million. That kind of money is not given to players who aren’t expected to start immediately. Okung has had ups and downs in his career but hopefully, new scenery and a stable pocket quarterback will help his consistency.

Left Guard – Dan Feeney

The Chargers spent a ton of capital this offseason, to revamp their offensive line. Some of that capital went to drafting Feeney from the University of Indiana. Feeney slipped in the draft because of his inability to play more than one position along the line. However, the one position that he plays, he plays very well. Look for Feeney to become a lock on this line for years to come.

Center – Matt Slauson

Slauson has been an absolute gift ever since he put on that Chargers uniform. Many speculate that he will move back to his natural position at guard given the emergence of Spencer Pulley. However, with the additions of Feeney and Forrest Lamp along the interior, the Chargers have too much talent at guard to sit one of their new additions. So, for the time being, Slauson will continue being a steady presence at center.

Right Guard – Forrest Lamp

Luck is necessary for every team and the Chargers got a lot of it in this year’s draft. Lamp slipped to the second round, even though he was regarded as one of the top offensive line prospects. He’ll come in and immediately compete for the for the starting right guard spot vacated by D.J. Fluker.

Right Tackle – Joe Barksdale

Barksdale disappointed in his first season after receiving a huge contract extension, leading the team with seven penalties. However, Barksdale should benefit from a new coach and more stability along the offensive line. Look for a bounce back season from the talented veteran.