Free agent forecast

Free agency figures to be an uneventful time in San Diego, a trademark of the A.J. Smith era. The team may look at some middle-tier players with untapped potential, but Smith doesn't see any holes in the defending AFC West champions that can't be fixed via the draft.

The following is a list of players that may pique Smith's interest, one at each of the team's five primary areas of need:

Shaun McDonald, WR, St. Louis Rams

A fourth-round pick from Arizona State in 2003, McDonald was buried on the depth chart in St. Louis behind Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and Kevin Curtis. In his four years with the Rams, he totaled 106 catches for 1,215 yards and four touchdowns.

In San Diego, McDonald would provide the deep speed to stretch the field and the big-play potential to make an already potent offense all the better.

Donnie Nickey, S, Tennessee Titans

Primarily a special teams contributor, Nickey is not an upgrade over Terrence Kiel. However, the Chargers may be content to move Bhawoh Jue into the starting line-up, with Clinton Hart serving as the top defensive reserve.

If that is the case, Nickey would be a great fit. He can play on every special teams unit and can fill in on defense when called upon. His career totals include 46 tackles on defense and 43 more in kick coverage.

Al Johnson, OL, Dallas Cowboys

A former second-round pick, Johnson's development has been slowed by injuries. He missed his rookie season with a knee injury but bounced back nicely by starting 31 games in 2004 and 2005. He lost his starting job in 2006 but is still considered a promising prospect.

Although he has played primarily at center, he has the size and mauler's mentality to play guard, too. His initial quickness and aggression would make him a good fit on San Diego's line.

Raonall Smith, LB, St. Louis Rams

Smith is a talented prospect who has been hindered by injuries and schematic instability. He has terrific size (6 foot 2, 245 lbs.) and is a powerful hitter who needs to do a better job reading and reacting.

Still, he is a tremendous athlete with great upside. Also, he could contribute on special teams while earning time on defense behind new starters Stephen Cooper and Matt Wilhelm.

Kindal Moorehead, DL, Carolina Panthers

Moorehead is an undersized defensive tackle who is great against the run and who shows great pass-rushing potential, as evidenced by his five sacks in 2005. These qualities make him a perfect fit for a defensive end position in San Diego's 3-4 scheme.

His career totals include 84 tackles and seven passes knocked down in 59 games played. In San Diego, he would provide much needed depth behind starters Luis Castillo and Igor Olshansky.


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