Norv Turner typically keeps eight offensive linemen active on game days. After last weekend's NFL Draft, his decision-making process got a lot more complicated.
|C Tyronne Green|
L.J. Shelton will be active because of his ability to back up both tackle positions. Scott Mruczkowski, who signed a three-year contract extension last offseason, will also stay active because of his versatility on the interior line.
The options for the final active spot include two of San Diego's draft picks: third-round guard Louis Vasquez and fourth-round center Tyronne Green. Vasquez is the better prospect, but Green has the versatility that is so important in backup offensive linemen.
One option is deactivating Green and making Mruczkowski the backup center, although he hasn't started a game at the hub position since his senior season at Bowling Green. Another option is making Vasquez the starter at right guard, keeping Green active and deactivating Forney.
The Chargers signed Forney to a two-year, $4.8 million contract this offseason, yet it's suddenly easy to envision him earning that money from the inactive list.
Defensive Line: Just for Starters
|DE Vaughn Martin|
Martin is one of the rawest prospects to come out of this year's draft. His only collegiate experience came via Canadian Interuniversity Sports, where the level of competition is significantly lower and the rules are different. In Canada, they use a longer and wider field and keep 12 players on the field.
While Martin makes the transition to the NFL, either Jacques Cesaire or Ryon Bingham will slide into the starting lineup. Cesaire has more experience, averaging eight starts per season between 2004 and 2007. However, Bingham has impressed the coaching staff with his tenacity against the run and willingness to improve with each passing season.
Cesaire has the early edge in this contest if only because Bingham is also needed to spell Jamal Williams at nose tackle. Nonetheless, both players figure to log plenty of snaps at right defensive end.
When the Chargers drafted Luis Castillo in 2005, he spent one game as a backup before taking Cesaire's spot in the starting lineup. For Martin, the best-case scenario would be taking over as a starter after the bye in Week 5. But more than likely he'll spend his entire rookie season as a reserve.
Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and 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 15 years and covered the team since 2003.