The San Diego Chargers released their first official depth chart of the 2013 season. While most of the depth chart is pretty much what we expected, there are a few things to note that can give us a little insight on how the players are performing in training camp, how the Bolts plan on utilizing them, and who’s in jeopardy of getting cut before the season starts.
On offense, there are quite a few notable things to point out.
At running back, it’s interesting that Ronnie Brown is actually listed ahead of Danny Woodhead. This doesn’t seem to be any indication of how Woodhead has performed in training camp so far, as he’s been one of the most impressive players on offense and is really becoming a go-to guy for Philip Rivers. The Chargers could possibly view Woodhead as more of a complementary player than as Ryan Mathews’ primary backup and could prefer to save him for third downs, where he’ll do his best work. However, wherever they finish on the depth chart, expect all three running backs to have a role in this offense.
Meanwhile, the Bolts have a logjam at wide receiver and about five guys who have a serious chance of becoming one of the two starters. Vincent Brown was expected to compete with Malcom Floyd and Danario Alexander for one of the two starting wide receiver spots, but he still sits behind the two incumbents from last season. Brown was dominating in training camp, but suffered a hamstring injury that has forced him out of six straight practices. The Chargers will be cautious with him as they know his absence will hurt this offense like it did last year, but Brown will need to get back on the field to be able to push for a starting spot.
Along the offensive line, King Dunlap continues to hold off the more-experienced Max Starks and is listed ahead of him on the depth chart at left tackle. Though the two were expected to evenly split time with the first-team offense, Dunlap has been getting most of the work and has looked better than Starks. The outcome of this battle will definitely be dependent on how the two play in preseason, but as of now, its Dunlap’s job to lose.
On defense, there aren’t too many surprises, but definitely one to note at inside linebacker.
Before his injury, Jonas Mouton was running with the second-team defense alongside Andrew Gachkar. Now with Mouton out for the year, it’s Bront Bird, not D.J. Smith, who appears to be have taken his place and moved up to become a primary backup at inside linebacker. Smith is still recovering from a torn ACL and has spent much less time in John Pagano’s defense, which could be the reason he’s behind. But with starting experience under his belt with the Green Bay Packers last season, Smith could move up the depth chart with a strong preseason.
You can find the full official depth chart here.