We got a glimpse of what’s yet to come. With OTA’s and minicamps done and out of the way, it’s time to look ahead to training camp. The Chargers first day begins Thursday, July 24, and goes till August 12. The practices are open to the public.
Here are three Chargers, I believe, are ‘underrated’ heading into training camp:
1. LaDarius Green (TE):
The 24-year old Green is entering his third season in the NFL. He showed potential and athleticism last year with 17 receptions, 376 yards and 3 touchdowns. Standing at 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds, Green has the speed and explosiveness to match his height, making him a mismatch weapon. Expect to see more playing time in the upcoming season for Green, as well as continuing to play opposite of Antonio Gates…a tight end combination that worked well last year.
NFL.com senior analyst, Gil Brandt ranked Green at #1 among young tight ends to watch this season:
“Green might be something of an unknown outside of San Diego, but he’s going to be pretty special. Considering his upward trajectory and Philip Rivers’ history of success with the more famous of San Diego’s dynamic tight ends – Antonio Gates – I expect Green to explode in 2014. He has true Pro Bowl potential.”
2. Jahleel Addae (S):
An undrafted rookie from Central Michigan in 2013, Addae joined the Chargers and made the 53-man roster. He finished the regular season with 38 tackles, a sack and three pass breakups. In his last game of the year, he finished with eight combined tackles and a forced fumble in the Chargers AFC divisional playoff loss to the Broncos.
Addae stood out his rookie year much due to his speed and strength. He is an explosive safety who plays fast and accelerates right before contact.
Addae has made it clear that this year, he wants to be a starter. That means he will compete with Marcus Gilchrist, who finished third on the team in tackles, for the starting job opposite safety Eric Weddle.
The 5-foot-10 safety played at 195 pounds last year. He is up to 202 pounds and hopes to remain at this weight throughout camp.
3. Melvin Ingram (OLB):
After a six-month rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last year, Ingram returned week 12 and played four regular season games and postseason. He intercepted Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and helped San Diego to its first playoff victory in five years.
Similar to LaDarius Green, what we saw from Ingram and his potential, is promising for the upcoming season.
With another offseason of rest and recovery, Ingram will be healthy heading into training camp and the season. He still has much to learn entering his third season, but 13-year veteran Dwight Freeney will be returning to camp healthy as well. The duo will certainly improve the team’s pass rush this year.
Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images.
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