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10 Chargers to Watch in Preseason Opener

The Los Angeles Chargers kick off the 2018 preseason tonight against the Arizona Cardinals. How many snaps each player will receive is unknown, but here are 10 players to keep your eye on throughout the game:

WR Mike Williams – Last year's seventh-overall pick missed all of last summer, so he'll actually be making his preseason debut. Williams has been a clear star of training camp, showing off his complete skillset. Whether that's making the contested catch downfield, showing off his prowess in the red zone or showing off his impressive catch radius, it's been impossible to miss number 81. Williams will look to put his full arsenal on display in his first action in nearly a year.

WR Artavis Scott – Another wide receiver out of Clemson, Scott is making a strong push to make the 53-man roster after spending all of 2017 on the practice squad. Not only has he caught nearly everything thrown his way, he's shown how dangerous he can be with the ball in his hands, capable of taking it to the house at a moment's notice.

DE Patrick Afriyie – From Rookie Camp tryout to a spot on the 90-man roster, the Colgate product has turned heads over the first two weeks of training camp. Afriyie boasts impressive speed, and has made a living in the offensive backfield. Now it's time to see if he can do it when the live bullets fly.

S Derwin James – At long last we get to see the Bolts' first-round pick in real, live NFL action. Pundits have noted all offseason how James is the perfect fit for Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley's system. He's capable playing both free and strong safety, but he's mainly been used at the latter, lining up in the box. Watch for him to show off his tremendous range going sideline-to-sideline.

CB Michael Davis – With Trevor Williams nursing an ankle injury, Davis has spent the past week lining up as the starting corner opposite Casey Hayward with the first-team defense. The 6-2, 196-pound Davis signed as an undrafted free agent out of BYU a year ago, and mainly saw playing time on special teams. A strong showing against the Cardinals' starters could go a long way to earning consistent playing time on defense this season.

CB Craig Mager – Likewise, Mager will be under the microscope as well. The former third-round pick has shown tremendous growth thus far, earning consistent praise from the coaches. He'll look to further secure their confidence tonight against Arizona's talented wide receiver corps.

LB Kyzir White – Another standout from the first two weeks of training camp, White's transition from safety to linebacker appears to be going without a hitch. This year's fourth-round pick is all around the ball, boasting rare speed at the position. And boy, White sure knows how to bring the lumber!

RB Detrez Newsome – An undrafted free agent out of Western Carolina, Newsome may see the lion's share of the carries as the game moves along. The 5-10, 210-pounder had a productive collegiate career as his 6,969 all-purpose yards are the most in school history. Meanwhile, he ranks second in school history in career rushing yards (3,728), rushing touchdowns (37) and 100-yard rushing games (16). 

TE Sean Culkin – Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Missouri a year ago, Culkin spent the entire 2017 campaign on the team's 53-man roster but appeared in only two games. A hulking presence at 6-5, 255-pounds, he looks to cement himself as a reliable tight end heading into his second season.

QB Geno Smith/Cardale Jones – Alright, I'm cheating here going with two players, but the battle to back up Philip Rivers takes centerstage tonight. The two entered training camp neck-and-neck, and while both have flashed over the past two weeks, nothing compares to seeing what each quarterback does against another team in actual preseason play.

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