We are a little less than a week away until we know how the Chargers 53-man roster for 2021 season will shape up.
With 27 players to cut, that means there will be some tough decisions to make as they fill out their team.
Going off of our latest 53-man roster projection, here were some of the most difficult cuts to make.
QB Easton Stick
I’m a firm believer that Los Angeles should carry two quarterbacks. While Stick has some momentum on his side, I find it difficult to believe that the team will cut Chase Daniel, who brings the knowledge with Joe Lombardi’s offense and mentorship to aide in Herbert’s transition. However, with another strong performance on Saturday against the Seahawks and Stick could have the Chargers considering rolling into the season with three signal-callers.
RB Darius Bradwell
Aside from Larry Rountree, Bradwell has been the most efficient rusher throughout the preseason. He has also made some key plays on special teams. While this may seem like enough to earn the final spot, I still believe that the coaches will roll the dice with the talent of Justin Jackson, despite injury concerns, and the untapped potential of Joshua Kelley. Bradwell should be a strong practice squad candidate, should he not make the roster.
TE Stephen Anderson
I went back and forth with this one, but I kept Anderson off of the 53-man roster for the first time since I started making predictions. The reason for that is because of Gabe Nabers, who has played a similar role. I believe Nabers offers more upside as a blocker, has shown potential as a pass-catcher and most importantly, has been lauded by the coaches for his special teams ability.
DL Joe Gaziano
I’ve always been a fan of Gaziano since he came out of Northwestern, and after making the move inside he has flashed a ton. The one thing that could hurt his chances from earning a spot, however, is that there are a handful of other interior defenders that have performed very well. In this case, I went with the more experienced Cortez Broughton, who has looked like an entirely different player this summer.
NT Forrest Merrill
Like Gaziano, Merrill is in a tough situation because of how great the position group has been as a whole. Merrill, the undrafted free agent, has been a menace in the middle of the defensive line — consistently getting penetration and eating up double teams. Although he’s raised eyebrows, Breiden Fehoko gets the nod for his play and infectious energy he brings to the team.
EDGE Emeke Egbule
I viewed Egbule as a player that would benefit from the defensive switch and while he’s done good things, especially on special teams, he’s recently been sidelined with an injury, which has led to other players flashing like Jessie Lemonier. In this scenario, I have the team rolling with four edge defenders and both players not making the team altogether to save a roster spot for another position group.
CB John Brannon
The defensive backs have benefited from head coach Brandon Staley immensely, which has made it extremely difficult to figure out who will make the squad. While Brannon has led the team in interceptions this summer, players like Tevaughn Campbell and Kemon Hall were given the final spots simply because of their versatility in the secondary and special teams upside.