Dueling Rookie Report

Our staff writers Bob Raymond and Denis Savage have been hard at work grading out the rookie class the Bolts have assembled this year. Not only did they score well with their draft picks, the Chargers also found some gems in the undrafted free agent area.

The Chargers enter their bye week at 6-1, largely in part to the rookies they assembled and the depth those rookies have been able to provide.

Draft Picks

Round #1

Quentin Jammer: Cornerback

Bob- Jammer has been a solid tackler, but suspect in coverage. He is still recovering from lost time this summer. Showing improvement from week to week. Grade: C

Denis- Holdout made me mad, and I don't care whose fault it was. Three penalties against in the Oakland game, but boy can he hit. Jammer should be fun to watch for many a year, but his grade is low thus far. Grade: C-

Round #2a

Toniu Fonoti: Offensive Guard

Bob– Fonoti is a mauling run blocker. He is a big reason for LaDainian Tomlinson's success running inside on this unheralded line. Pass protection has not been poor, but is ok/improving. Grade: A-

Denis- Fonoti has improved from game to game. He is a road grinder and this past game against Oakland was his best by far. He has been solid in the pass protection. He is making a strong showing for rookie of the year although he will garner no votes as a lineman. Grade: A

Round #2b

Reche Caldwell: Wide Receiver

Bob- Grade is improving with TD receptions the past two games. Caldwell made an excellent block in the Raider game. Grade will continue to improve as he get more looks in the offense and possibly in the return game, as well. Grade: C+

Denis- Good blocker but there is no excuse for his dropped balls in the first few games. Has been effective of late in the red zone but his poor route running has cost him more exposure. I would love to see him more in the ailing return game as well. Grade: D

Round #3

Ben Leber: Linebacker

Bob- John Butler hit a home run with this one. Solid -vs- the run and pass, with outstanding speed and sure tackling abilities. Rookie starter drafted in the 3rd round, 'nuff said. Grade: A

Denis- Third round pick and starting what more could you want? Leber has had his one big play a game over the last few after coming out like the #1 overall pick with 4 sacks over the first 2 games. Grade: B

Round #4

Justin Peelle: Tight End

Bob- Peelle is getting plenty of time due to injuries at the position, but he's been hurt himself. Needs to work on his run-blocking. Grade: C+

Denis- Peelle has improved his run blocking but needs to become a threat as a receiver especially with concerns on the injury front to the other TEs, Josh Norman and Stephen Alexander. Grade: C

Round #5

Terry Charles: Wide Receiver

Bob- Injured prior to the season. On injured reserve (IR) for the year. Grade: INC

Denis- Boy would I have liked to see him play in our system this year, especially those first few games when I clamored for the receivers to get involved. Grade: INC

Round #6

Matt Anderle: Offensive Tackle

Bob- Hey, they can't all be gems. Anderle also failed to catch on with the Texans after getting cut in SD. Grade: F

Denis: He was so bad the Chargers website took him off their site, as if he was never drafted y the team. Talk about humiliation. Grade: F

Round #7

Seth Burford: Quarterback

Bob- Burford hasn't played a down, and hopefully will not this season. The fact he made the team and showed decent skills and upside earns this grade. Grade: B

Denis- Number three QB and beat Dickenson, which honestly baffled me. Yippee, I call that average. Grade: C

Undrafted Free Agents

UFA #1

Jason Ball: Center

Bob- Are you kidding me? An undrafted rookie from a small school starting for injured Cory Raymer and doing as well as he is? Think Raymer is a little nervous about getting back his spot next season? Grade: A+

Denis- No dropped Center-Quarterback exchanges which is amazing and was a huge concern for me when Ball entered the fray. He has impressed me in every way possible. Grade: A+

UFA #2

Josh Norman: Tight End

Bob- What a shame he got injured, as he appeared to be just ready to break-out in this offense. He and Ball were absolute steals in this draft. Grade: B+

Denis- Injury, other than that he finds ways to get open. I love this guy as our tight end who acts like a receiver. He should be around for a while and makes spending the money on Alexander almost look foolish. Grade: A-

UFA #3

Vernon Fox: Safety

Bob- I am Amazed he made the team, and Fox has played well at times. Other occasions has demonstrated why he was not drafted at all... Grade: B-/C+

Denis- That poor play against Tim Brown for the 45 yarder this past week made me want to shoot him. He plays like the guys we have, well most of the time and in outer space the rest. Grade: C

UFA #4

Jesse Chatman: Running Back

Bob- Summer feel-good story has not been activated for games this season, so far. I'm glad he's there, though! Grade: B

Denis- Bob and I tossed this running back situation around forever in the preseason and are happy with the results of those last few preseason games by Chapman. Grade: B

UFA #5

Eric Parker: Wide Receiver

Bob- He has been on and off the team roster a couple times already as players get added/released. Think he is a team member currently (what time is it now?). Has not been activated for any games. Grade: NG (no grade)

Denis- He has been on the cusp of playing for a couple of weeks after a moment of truth when he was released for a day then quickly re-added. I give him a passing grade for the turmoil in his head. Grade: C

There you have it the rookies grades are in and this year builds yet another solid foundation for the future the Bolts are headed towards. Other rookies not included:

Kevin House was a late addition and did not make it in time to get a grade. Chris Demaree has been on the inactive list each week of the season after showing good play in the preseason. Tony Okanlawon has gone on IR for the year. Larry Ned and Zack Quaccia were imports from other teams and Lew Thomas was injured for all of preseason as we salivated over the opportunity to see him play, which never came.

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