4 Players the Chargers Must Bring in to Help Philip Rivers

Alex Ramirez@@alexramirez127Correspondent IJanuary 11, 2013

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 30: Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers walks back to the locker room after the 24-21 win over the Oakland Raiders on December 30, 2012 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

With all the changes recently around the San Diego Chargers, one thing is for sure: Philip Rivers is still the franchise player.

The last two seasons have been dreadful for the former Pro Bowler. His entire offensive line has been demolished, he lost two of his favorite weapons in Vincent Jackson and Darren Sproles and his favorite target, Antonio Gates, is slowly declining. 

Philip Rivers hasn't flat-out lost his game. He's simply lost confidence in his team, primarily the front line. Vincent Brown returning next season alongside Malcom Floyd, Antonio Gates and hopefully Danario Alexander should revitalize Rivers' career. To ensure No. 17 gets back on track, new GM Tom Telesco should bring in these four players.

Andy Levitre (OG)

Levitre is only 26 years old and has already become one of the best offensive guards in the NFL. Levitre's youth and talent should put him in position for a big contract. If the Chargers decide to draft a offensive tackle in the first round of the NFL draft, signing a legit guard should be their top priority.

Kenny Stills (WR)

It's only been one year, but it seems that the Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem experiment has failed. Malcom Floyd, Vincent Brown and Danario Alexander should be at the top the depth chart at the receiver position come August, but a speedy slot receiver is needed. Alexander took Meachem's position, and Kenny Stills would take Royal's.

Stills is 6'1'' and runs a 4.49 40-yard-dash. He's projected to go in the third round of the draft, which is most likely where the Chargers will make their first skill position selection. He can do many things exceptionally well, but he does not excel in one area. Philip Rivers has gone through Legadu Naanee, Buster Davis, Patrick Crayton and Eddie Royal and has not found a slot receiver he clicks with.

Jake Long (OT)

Jake Long will be looking to restart his career somewhere away from Miami. Why not come to a similar, beach-like area in San Diego? Although many want Jared Gaither gone already, his contract puts the Chargers in sticky situation.

No that wasn't a Stickum reference.

San Diego will most likely go for an offensive tackle in the first round, but out of the top three prospects, are any other players deserving of the 11th pick? Instead, San Diego could sign a proven left tackle in Jake Long and draft a player like, say, Manti Te'o.

Chris Ivory  (RB)

One of the more underrated losses to the Chargers in recent years has been Darren Sproles and what he brought to the offense. He made defenders react more to his elusiveness in the backfield. Ronnie Brown, Jackie Battle and Curtis Brinkley are free agents, so a backup is needed. Ronnie Brown did very well in the pass game this season, but he lacked the speed to break away on screens.

With Ryan Mathews continuing to prove he's injury-prone, San Diego needs to find a back that can be a threat in the pass game as well as an every-down back in case Mathews goes down again.

Chris Ivory comes to mind. His speed could make the Chargers offense very dangerous. This season, he proved he can run the ball consistently. The time is approaching for the Chargers to move on from Ryan Mathews, but maybe a little competition would do wonders for the former Bulldog.