Rookie, Undrafted Free Agent Watch for San Diego Chargers' Training Camp
The San Diego Chargers will enter training camp with six draft choices from April and 20 undrafted free-agent rookies.
Obviously, not every player is guaranteed a spot on the roster regardless of whether they were drafted or not, and that will hold true for the Chargers as training camp is set to commence on July 25.
Here is a list of those 26 rookies with some background info as well as their chances of making the team by the end of camp.
RT D.J. Fluker
- College: Alabama
- Draft Status: Round 1
- Height: 6'5"
- Weight: 339
- College Production: Started 27 games the past two seasons at right tackle for the Crimson Tide, flagged just twice last season and gave up just four sacks.
Analysis: The Chargers couldn't afford to move up on draft night and select Eric Fisher, Luke Joeckel or Lane Johnson, but it's not like they got the leftover scraps. What D.J. Fluker lacks in NFL-readiness or technique he more than makes up for in leadership qualities and physical ability.
As part of Alabama's offensive line, Fluker helped pave the way for guys like Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy. Now, he'll attempt to help Ryan Mathews find similar success in San Diego.
The first-round pick will come into training camp as the team's starting right tackle alongside converted right guard Jeromey Clary.
ILB Manti Te'o
- College: Notre Dame
- Draft Status: Round 2
- Height: 6'1"
- Weight: 241
- College Production: Finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting, awards and accolades include: Maxwell Trophy, Dick Butkus Award, Nagurski Award, Lombardi Award and Bednarik Award, recorded 101 tackles, seven interceptions and 1.5 sacks in 2012.
Analysis: Manti Te'o's epic senior season at Notre Dame was too good to pass up for the Chargers in the second round of the draft.
Putting all the controversy aside, Te'o had one heck of a career for the Irish, and it was quite shocking to see him fall to the second round. The important thing is he now has an NFL home.
The Chargers will build off Te'o's strengths by positioning him next to Donald Butler in their 3-4 defense, further utilizing his instincts and tackling ability.
WR Keenan Allen
- College: California
- Draft Status: Round 3
- Height: 6'2"
- Weight: 206
- College Production: Cal's all-time leader in receptions (205) and ranked third in receiving yards (2,570), finished 2012 with 61 receptions, 737 receiving yards and six touchdown catches.
Analysis: Keenan Allen's season-ending knee injury apparently scared away the rest of the league, as he fell through to the third round of the draft.
After missing the final three games of the 2012 season, Allen's draft stack took a considerable hit and plummeted as the draft approached, but there were still mock drafts that featured the Cal receiver going as high as the first round.
Eventually, Allen would fall to the Chargers on Day 2 of the draft and he'll now be in a position to get some playing time despite the receivers unit being a bit crowded.
After Danario Alexander, Malcom Floyd and Vincent Brown, the ordered depth isn't at all final. If Allen has a good camp, he could soar past Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem.
CB Steve Williams
- College: California
- Draft Status: Round 5
- Height: 5'9"
- Weight: 181
- College Production: Honorable mention All-Pac-12 and team MVP honors, recorded three interceptions, 80 tackles and 13 defended passes in 2012.
Analysis: Steve Williams was the second consecutive Cal Bear to go to the Chargers after the team drafted Keenan Allen in the third.
With Marcus Gilchrist competing at strong safety, Williams now has the opportunity to be the Chargers' slot corner. His competition will likely come from former New Orleans Saint Johnny Patrick.
OLB Tourek Williams
- College: Florida International
- Draft Status: Round 6
- Height: 6'3"
- Weight: 260
- College Production: senior team captain in 2012 led the Panthers with 6.5 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles, finished his career at FIU second in school history in career sacks (18), yards lost (155), tackles for loss (45.5) and tackle for loss yards (224).
Analysis: The Chargers figured they needed more help at outside linebacker when they selected Tourek Williams in the sixth round of the draft, but nobody would have ever predicted Melvin Ingram's freak injury in OTAs would lead to Williams becoming more valuable in his rookie season.
Williams is firmly on the roster bubble to make the team as a result of Ingram's injury, and he will face Larry English and Thomas Keiser for a spot in the reserves.
QB Brad Sorensen
- College: Southern Utah
- Draft Status: Round 7
- Height: 6'5"
- Weight: 230
- College Production: Three-year starter at Southern Utah, named second-team All-Big Sky Conference pick as senior, passed for over 3,000 yards each of his three seasons, set numerous school records, including career passing yards (9,445), touchdown passes (61), completions (822).
Analysis: Brad Sorensen was the last pick of Tom Telesco's first official draft with the Chargers, but the Southern Utah quarterback is being labeled simply a camp arm at this point.
He'll take reps with the second or third team in training camp, but in all honesty, the backup job belongs to the more-experienced Charlie Whitehurst.
Undrafted Free Agents
List of 20 undrafted free agents includes: Jahleel Addae, Nick Becton, Frank Beltre, Greg Brown, Ben Cotton, Marcus Cromartie, Kwame Geathers, Michael Hill, Byron Jerideau, Josh Johnson, Richard Kent, Jamarkus McFarland, Daniel Molls, Brandon Moore, Kenny Okoro, Randy Richards, David Rolf, Luke Tasker, Devan Walker, Mike Hermann.
Analysis: Notable players to consider in training camp are Jahleel Addae, Kwame Geathers and Byron Jerideau. All three players have the best chance of making the roster at their respective positions.
Some players that fans might want to watch are Michael Hill and Luke Tasker.
Hill had a monstrous year running the football in Division II and Tasker's father, Steve, is a former NFL great.