One of the biggest buzz stories of this offseason was the speculation the Chargers were considering trading Philip Rivers, the face of the franchise, for the chance to draft Heisman winner Marcus Mariota. Obviously -- and thankfully -- this did not come to pass. But with Rivers' contract expiring at the end of the season and his future with the team uncertain, it seem like a fitting time for the Chargers to find a legitimate developmental prospect under center.
Based on the first few days of training camp, that prospect may already be in place. QB Brad Sorensen, San Diego's seventh-round pick in 2013, missed the opening of camp while returning to San Diego following the birth of his son. However, based on Saturday's performance, Sorensen didn't miss a beat.
The Southern Utah product looked sharp, taking the majority of the second-team reps ahead of veteran backup Kellen Clemens, who served as Rivers' backup all of last season. Sorensen had little difficulty finding open receivers, passing for a clean 4-for-4 in the practice's final bout of 11-on-11s. He also showed impressing arm strength, knocking down receiver Jacoby Jones with a throw so hard it could be heard from the Chargers Park bleachers.
Overall, Sorensen was nearly perfect, with the exception of a few plays earlier in the day. Sorensen missed a wide-open David Paulson, which would have been an easy catch had the pass not been too low. He also had a deep pass intended for Javontee Herndon broken up by Steve Williams during 7-on-7s, but this was more of a great play by Williams rather than a poor throw by Sorensen.
If the Chargers decide to keep just two quarterbacks on the roster, as they did last season, Sorensen will have to beat out Clemens to make the team. Based on the first few days of camp, this may not be out of the realm of possibility. Sorensen looked much better than Clemens, who routinely overthrew receivers and forced some throws into tight coverage. Still, a few practices aren't enough to judge a competition, and Clemens did improve as Saturday's practice went on.
The only other quarterback on the roster is Chase Rettig, a first-year player out of Boston College. While Rettig looked like the most athletic quarterback on the roster in individual drills, he is likely no more than a camp arm.
While training camp is important, the backup quarterback job will likely decided in preseason, where Sorensen has both flourished and disappointed the past two years, respectively. In his 2013 rookie year, Sorensen had a solid preseason, throwing for 272 yards and two touchdowns. The coaches were impressed enough to keep three quarterbacks on the 53-man roster that season. In 2014, however, Sorensen did not make it through final cuts after throwing for no touchdowns and two interceptions in the preseason.
If Sorensen continues to looks sharp in training camp and has a solid preseason, it would not be surprising if he earns a spot back on the 53-man roster.
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A San Diego native, Trenton Villanueva graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor's degree in Journalism and a minor in the hydraulic principles of the keg. Prior to writing for SDBR, he covered sports news for FanSided and wrote music reviews for the San Diego State Daily Aztec. Follow him on Twitter @TrentNotDilfer