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2017 Training Camp Preview: Defensive Line

As we near the start of training camp on July 30, we'll preview each position for the Los Angeles Chargers.  Next up is the defensive line.

Joey Bosa –Number 99 entrenched himself as one of the league's premiere defensive ends in his first season, totaling 10.5 sacks in 12 games.  His 10.5 sacks were the most by an NFL rookie since 2011, and rank second in Chargers history behind Leslie O'Neal's 12.5 in 1986. Still only 22 years old, the reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year appears to be just scratching the surface of his vast potential. 

Melvin Ingram –After playing outside linebacker his first five seasons, Ingram returns to the defensive end position he played in college as the Bolts transition to Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley's 4-3 scheme.  Ingram inked a four-year deal to return to the Bolts during the offseason, and looks to continue his recent run of success.  The speedy edge rusher's 18.5 sacks are tied for the 12th most in the league.

Brandon Mebane –The 6-1, 311-pound Mebane enjoyed some of his finest seasons playing under Bradley for the Seattle Seahawks.  The Los Angeles native is thrilled to reunite with his former coordinator as he enters his second season with the Chargers.  Mebane's impact goes far beyond his talents on the field.  A team captain a year ago, he's the elder statesman and clear leader on the defensive side of the ball.

Corey Liuget –While his numbers were overshadowed by the impressive performances of Bosa and Ingram, the defensive tackle once again proved stout against the run and pass.  Liuget finished the year third on the team in both tackles for loss (12) and pressures (30). He enters his seventh season still just 27 years old.

Tenny Palepoi –Capable of manning numerous spots along the line, Palepoi plays with great effort and enthusiasm. Returning to the field a year ago after missing all of 2015 with a foot injury, his nine QB hits were the third most on the team while his 20 quarterback pressures ranked fourth. The Chargers brought him back on a one-year contract this offseason as he figures to play a key role as a rotational player in the trenches.

Damion Square –Another player re-signed this offseason, the Bolts inked Square to a two-year deal after a breakout season. Versatile enough to line up in different spots up front, he took over as the starting nose tackle last year after Mebane was lost to injury. He finished with 31 tackles, six tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and 10 pressures in 11 games with seven starts.

Jerry Attaochu –Like Ingram, Attaochu makes the transition to defensive end after playing the first three years of his career at outside linebacker.  The speedy edge rusher aims to make up for lost time as he was limited to parts of eight games in 2016.

Chris Landrum –Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2016 after a record-setting career at Jacksonville State. The 6-2, 245-pound edge rush enters his second season with the hopes of carving out a more meaningful role.  He saw limited playing time as a rookie, bouncing between the active roster and practice squad. Landrum will line up at the LEO position in Bradley's system.

Caraun Reid –Claimed off waivers at the beginning of the year, Reid got off to a lightning fast start with the Bolts.  He had a 61-yard scoop-and-score against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3, and then drew a holding penalty in the end zone a couple weeks later against the Denver Broncos that resulted in a safety.  Unfortunately, he suffered an ACL injury in Week 7's win over the Atlanta Falcons that brought his year to an abrupt end.   

Darius Philon –A sixth-round pick in 2015, Philon appeared in 14 games last season primarily backing up Bosa.  The 23-year old finished with 16 tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack.

Ryan Carrethers –The massive 6-1, 333-pound nose tackle is still looking to find his niche after being selected in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He appeared in four games a year ago, logging six tackles and one tackle for loss.

Chris McCain –It was hard to miss the 6-5, 236-pounder as he transitioned to defensive end this offseason. He joined the Bolts' practice squad midway through last year after appearing in 20 career games with the Miami Dolphins and New Orleans Saints.

Isaac Rochell –Los Angeles selected the 6-4, 280-pound product out of Notre Dame in the seventh-round of this year's draft.  A defensive captain for the Golden Domers, he was a durable and steady force who played over 83 percent of team's defensive snaps over his final three seasons.

Kaleb Eulls –The 6-4, 309-pound Eulls was promoted to the active roster at the end of the 2016 season after spending the majority of the year on the practice squad. He appeared in four games for the New Orleans Saints in 2015.

We're Keeping Our Eye On

Ricky Henne:I'm tempted to go with Joey Bosa, who is one of the most technically-sound players I've ever had the fortune of watching.  Still, I'm going to go with Melvin Ingram.  I want to see how different his role will be now that he's lining up at defensive end.  "SupaMel" mentioned how he expects to rush the passer more from the LEO position, and doesn't expect to drop into coverage as much since he'll no longer be an outside linebacker.  The beauty in Ingram's game is that he's added to his arsenal each season, and I'm eager to see what he can do under Bradley.

Hayley Elwood:I'm excited to see Brandon Mebane in year two with the Bolts.  It was so unfortunate that his season was cut short a year ago because Mebane brings an added oomph to the defense both on the field and off of it.  Heck, the guy was voted a team captain during his first season with the team.  One benefit to Mebane's return is his reunion with DC Gus Bradley.  So I'm interested to see how having someone who played under Bradley before will be beneficial not only for his own growth, but for the growth of the unit.

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