Senior Bowl: Finding the Next Michael Turner

The Chargers leaned on Michael Turner during their final two postseason games. They will not have that luxury next season. Michael Lombardo reports from Mobile, Ala., that the Chargers are talking to a pair of potential replacements who would be more than happy to take Turner's spot on the depth chart.

Michael Turner will not be back with the Chargers next season. He longs to be a starting running back and teams are lining up to give him the opportunity.

The Chargers are busy in Mobile makes plans for Turner's exodus. Local product Justin Forsett (Cal) impressed the Chargers scouts during Monday's practice. The team has arranged a private interview with him for later in the week.

Forsett (5'8", 183 pounds) is the kind of impact back the Chargers need in the No. 2 spot. He is expected to go on the second day of the draft and could temp the Chargers if he falls past round five.

Forsett replaced Marshawn Lynch as Cal's lead back and the numbers speak for themselves. He lead the Pac-10 in TDs (15); he tallied nine 100-yard games; he gouged USC for 164 yards; and his 3,220 career-yards placed him third in team annals.

Only one question remains: can the 183-pound back hold up in pass protection?

"I want to show this week that I can get in there and get nasty with my blocking," Forsett said.

And if he were asked to block a guy like Shawne Merriman?

"It would be a dream come true," he said.

The Chargers also met with East Carolina's Chris Johnson. As a senior, Johnson ran 236 times for 1,423 yards.

Johnson is projected to go in the second round. The Chargers traded their second-round pick to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for Chris Chambers, so they will have to hope he falls to the end of round three, where they could land him with a compensatory selection.

"I can make plays out of the backfield and I hit the hole hard," Johnson said. "I have great speed, great catching ability and great return ability. I'm a threat to score a touchdown every time I touch the ball," Johnson said.

Keep checking back for more Senior Bowl coverage, as Michael Lombardo is in Alabama tracking all the Chargers' draft interests.

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for Scout.com. She has contributed to the official Web sites of Shawne Merriman, Lorenzo Neal, Shaun Phillips and others for Sixthman Communications.


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