Report Card Grades for Top 5 Chargers Rookies Through Preseason Week 2

Ross Warner@@Lucab12Contributor IIIAugust 21, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 11:  NFL Rookie Kendall Reyes #91 of the San Diego Chargers runs through drills during a minicamp workout on May 11, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kent C. Horner/Getty Images)
Kent Horner/Getty Images

Another week of exhibition season led to another significant injury to the offense. I won’t speculate about joys the regular season holds for us, since any Charger fan knows that they always find new ways to inflict pain on their supporters.

On the bright side, Vincent Brown’s broken ankle won’t cause him to miss the entire season. But on a night when the starting offense (allegedly a strength of these Chargers) wasn’t clicking, it was additionally frustrating to see the only guy who was distinguishing himself get hurt after making a play for a touchdown. How will this latest injury cause a ripple through the roster? That remains to be seen.

Some of AJ’s draftees and springtime signings were already standing out (for good and bad reasons).

Rather than grade 26 rookies—many of whom won’t be wearing blue and gold this season—I’ve elected to stick with the ones who have a realistic shot of being on the club this year. As for the other guys, I have to evoke the spirit of John C. McGinley in “Office Space:” Samir Naga—He—Naga—Naga—Not gonna work here anymore anyway.


Melvin Ingram (LB)

Grade: A

Jet fans here on Long Island are already coming up to me telling me that they should have drafted this guy. That hasn’t happened since the late Junior Seau. He’s really looked that good. Even though the Chargers did all their damage on Saturday Night after the starters left the game, Ingram was the guy who really injected some life into the proceedings. During the offseason, it suggested that the Bolts were only going to ask Ingram to get after the quarterback.

That’s the kind of “one trick pony” Charger fans would love to see. I’m not hearing much about “Super Melvin’s” short arms right now, either. At this point in the preseason, I don’t think Ingram has much left to prove. Norv, please sit him before he gets hurt.


Kendall Reyes (DE)

Grade: B

I admit that I knew nothing about this guy when AJ drafted him. But he looked to be really heating up during the aforementioned infusion of energy brought by Melvin Ingram against Dallas. If Reyes and Liuget can contribute this season, it would do wonders for the horrid third down defense. After Ingram’s 12-yard sack, I was still expecting the Cowboys to find a way to get a first down.

Charger fans have seen too much not to.

Brandon Taylor (SS)

Grade: B

Every time I read about how well Atari Bigby is playing this summer, I find myself conflicted. Is he really going to hold up both physically and performance-wise this season? Everybody expects Taylor to not only be the strong safety of the future, but to somehow make us all forget Rodney Harrison.

Taylor drew a penalty on Saturday, so he’s similar to Rodney in that respect. But the sample size on this guy is far too small to make any kind of judgments. Each week, he’ll play a little more and we’ll see what he can handle.

I do like what I’ve seen so far, however,


Mike Harris (OT)

Grade: B

After getting rave reviews against Green Bay, Harris provided a few reminders of why he was undrafted. But Jared Gaither still doesn’t have a timetable for his return to practice, let alone playing.

This kid will continue to get time to play. He’s already showed me more than Clary, who got beat again with his matador blocking style.


Mike Willie (WR)

Grade B-

A few weeks ago, this guy wouldn’t have been on this list. He gets a B- not because of what he’s shown, but due to his chances of making the 53-man roster. Vincent Brown’s injury certainly increases the probability of that, however. Then again, Bryan Walters did everything you could do during the preseason and never did anything after making the club.

Actually, he did force the Chargers to release Laurent Robinson.