Now that San Diego's 2015 roster is basically set and the players have a couple weeks of OTAs under their belts, it's a good time for an early roster projection. We're projecting the entire 53-man roster, as well as the 10-player practice squad.
This projection includes a couple arrangements that may not be popular with Chargers fans. We have D.J. Fluker and Johnnie Troutman returning to their starting positions at right tackle and right guard, respectively. We also have San Diego hanging onto Donald Brown, despite the addition of Melvin Gordon and the return of Danny Woodhead.
As for some of our tougher cuts, most of those came on the defensive side of the ball. Patrick Robinson, Kavell Conner and Sean Lissemore all find themselves on the outside looking in. On offense, John Phillips gets edged out as the Chargers prepare to go with more three-receiver sets. Another veteran pass catcher, Austin Pettis, narrowly misses the cut.
On the rookie front, sixth-round pick Darius Philon has to settle for a spot on the practice squad. Elsewhere on defense, Nick Dzubnar wins the final spot on the roster because of his work on special teams, making it 19 consecutive years an undrafted free agent has made San Diego's Opening Day roster.
Without further ado, here is our first 2015 roster projection.
QB: Philip Rivers, Kellen Clemens, Brad Sorensen
RB: Melvin Gordon, Danny Woodhead, Donald Brown, Branden Oliver
LT: King Dunlap, Chris Hairston
LG: Orlando Franklin
C: Chris Watt, Trevor Robinson
RG: Johnnie Troutman, Craig Watts
RT: D.J. Fluker, Joe Barksdale
TE: Antonio Gates, Ladarius Green
TE: David Johnson
WR: Keenan Allen, Malcom Floyd, Jacoby Jones
WR: Stevie Johnson, Dontrelle Inman
DE: Corey Liuget, Ricardo Mathews
NT: Ryan Carrethers, Mitch Unrein
DE: Kendall Reyes, Tenny Palepoi, Damion Square
OLB: Jeremiah Attaochu, Cordarro Law, Kyle Emanuel
ILB: Manti Te'o, Nick Dzubnar
ILB: Donald Butler, Denzel Perryman
OLB: Melvin Ingram, Tourek Williams
CB: Brandon Flowers, Steve Williams, Richard Crawford
CB: Jason Verrett, Craig Mager,
SS: Jimmy Wilson, Jahleel Addae, Darrell Stuckey
FS: Eric Weddle, Adrian Phillips
K: Nick Novak
P: Mike Scifres
LS: Mike Windt
PRACTICE SQUAD: RB Dreamius Smith, OL Jeremiah Sirles, TE Brian Parker, WR Torrence Allen, WR Tyrell Williams, DL Darius Philon, ILB Ikechi Ariguzo, OLB Colton Underwood, CB Greg Ducree, FS John Lowdermilk
Which players do you see making San Diego's Opening Day roster? Talk about it in our message boards!
Michael Lombardo has covered the San Diego Chargers since 2003. He spent 12 years covering the team for Scout.com and has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. In addition to being publisher of SDBoltReport.com, he also works as the Senior NFL Reporter for Footballinsiders.com. You can see more of his updates by following him on twitter.