Five Recent Draftees on Roster Bubble

Tom Telesco has been hugely successful in his first two NFL drafts, but five of his recent late-round picks are on the bubble as the Chargers get ready to trim their roster to 53 players. We examine all of those draftees, while looking at their competition and analyzing their chances of making the final roster.

Steve Williams (fifth round, 2013) vs. Brandon Ghee

Williams, who missed his rookie season with a pectoral injury, has been impressive throughout the offseason. He has superb quickness and the makings of a strong slot defender. But the cornerback position is loaded, with first-round pick Jason Verrett and Pro Bowler Brandon Flowers joining Ghee on the team's list of offseason additions. The six-foot Ghee holds advantages in size and experience, making this competition all the more intense. If Williams and Ghee both shine, it is possible Richard Marshall could be the odd man out.

Tourek Williams (sixth round, 2013) vs. Thomas Kieser

Coming out of Florida International, Williams was considered a project. Since then, he has gained valuable experience and made the switch to strongside linebacker. That has the team thinking he is ready to make a big leap in his second season. But first Williams must beat out Kieser, a strong pass rusher who posted 4.5 sacks last season, plus another in the preseason opener. It is unlikely both can be fit onto the roster at a position that features Melvin Ingram, Dwight Freeney, Jerry Attaochu and Jarret Johnson.

Ryan Carrethers (fifth round, 2014) vs. Kwame Geathers

Carrethers appeared to have an easy path to a roster spot, free to walk into the void created by the offseason departure of Cam Thomas. But so far he has struggled to get off blocks and play with leverage, opening the door for Geathers (an undrafted rookie in 2013) to push his way to the top of the depth chart. Since last season, Geathers has made sizable progress with his conditioning and technique. It is very possible the Chargers will keep just one true nose tackle, knowing Sean Lissemore can also slide over and play the position.

Marion Grice (sixth round, 2014) vs. Branden Oliver

Grice and Oliver bring very different skill-sets to this competition. Grice is stronger as a receiver and blocker. He also offers kick-return ability, which may ultimately be what lands him on the roster. But Oliver is a dynamic runner with the ability to squeeze through holes, break tackles and make big plays. Neither figures to play much this season behind Ryan Mathews, Donald Brown and Danny Woodhead. But with Mathews likely in his final season with the Chargers, there is nothing but opportunity ahead for the winner of this preseason battle.

Tevin Reese (seventh round, 2014) vs. Dontrelle Inman

Reese was drafted to be a home-run hitter, something San Diego lacked last season after Malcom Floyd was hurt. But it was Inman who was striking from distance in the preseason opener, scoring on a 70-yard touchdown catch and finishing with more than 100 yards on just three receptions. Reese, who caught one pass for 17 yards against the Cowboys, is still a part of the team's future plans. But if he can't hold off Inman and veteran Seyi Ajirotutu, he may be destined to spend his rookie season on the practice squad.



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Michael Lombardo is a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 18 years and covered the team since 2003. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.


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