Senior Bowl Watch List: Offense

The Chargers have ranked in the top-five in total offense in each of Norv Turner's five seasons at the helm, but that side of the ball will have to be re-tooled to extend that impressive streak. San Diego will scout elite offensive prospects at the Senior Bowl next week ... here are three in particular that may be of interest.

Kelechi Osemele, OL, Iowa State (6 foot 5, 335 lbs.)

The Chargers have not spent a first-round pick on an offensive lineman since 1985. That could change this year, especially since Jeromey Clary's development has plateaued. Osemele is the kind of player that could make A.J. Smith go offense first. He has size, strength and enough quickness to handle faster edge rushers.

Osemele is a project. He has to tune his technique -- particularly hand placement -- and become more consistent. That shouldn't scare the Chargers, however, as they don't necessarily need an opening-day starter. Osemele could hone his skills under Hal Hunter while waiting for either: a) Clary to struggle; or b) Marcus McNeill to re-injure his neck.

Should the Chargers draft Osemele and re-sign veteran Jared Gaither, it would make Philip Rivers more comfortable than he has been in a long time.

Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri (6 foot 6, 240 lbs.)

Antonio Gates kept getting better as the season progressed, which is a great sign, but it is clear his best days are behind him. That, combined with Randy McMichael's pending foray into free agency, means the Chargers will be looking closely at the tight end position.

Egnew is a day-three prospect with all the makings of an excellent value pick. He had a relatively quiet senior season (50 catches, 523 yards, three scores) as Missouri's entire offense took a step back with the departure of Blaine Gabbert, but his 90-catch junior campaign shows what he is capable of doing.

Egnew does not have exceptional speed but he could be the perfect understudy for Gates. Like Gates, he uses his frame to box out defenders and make himself available to his quarterback. He also has experience working out of the slot, which will come in handy in Norv Turner's offense.

Jeff Fuller, WR, Texas A&M (6 foot 4, 220 lbs.)

The Chargers will need help at receiver ... just how much help is to be determined. No. 4 recevier Patrick Crayton is an unrestricted free agent and won't return. No. 1 receiver Vincent Jackson is also a free agent but the team plans to keep him, with the franchise tag being a possibility if the sides cannot agree on a long-term deal.

Regardless, Rivers needs another pass catcher, especially during the four-to-six games Malcom Floyd is sure to miss with some nagging lower-body injury. Fuller fits the bill and has a lot of the attributes the Chargers cherish: he has a big body; he's an experienced route runner; and he attacks the ball at its highest point.

Fuller is not an explosive receiver and sometimes struggles to beat press coverage. But his career totals include 233 catches, 3,092 yards and 34 touchdowns, so he clearly knows how to make plays. If Smith is willing to spend a second-round pick, Fuller could be making those plays in San Diego.

Which veteran free agents will complement this year's draft class? Discuss in the message boards.

Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 16 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.

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