2018 Training Camp Preview: Linebackers

Take a look at the entire Bolts roster leading into 2018 Preseason.

As we near the start of training camp on July 28, we’ll preview each position for the Los Angeles Chargers. We continue with linebackers.

Previous Previews

Denzel Perryman– It’s hard to believe Perryman is already entering his fourth year in the league. One of the hardest hitters on the team, number 52 is an intimidating presence in the middle. The key for the linebacker is staying healthy as he’s yet to play a 16-game season in his career. Still, there’s no denying Perryman is an impact player with offenses always knowing where he is on the field each and every snap.

Kyle Emanuel – Another linebacker entering his fourth season with the Bolts, Emanuel is a bit of a throwback player who thrives doing the dirty work. The 6-3, 250-pounder is a force against the run, and set career-highs in tackles (34), sacks (1.5) and passes defensed (three) in 2017.

Jatavis Brown – The athletic Brown battled through injuries a year ago, but still pieced together a solid campaign, posting 79 tackles for the second consecutive season. The 5-11, 221-pounder boasts impressive range, and is a natural fit in Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley’s system.

Uchenna Nwosu– The Bolts scooped up the USC product in the second round, and the 6-2, 251-pounder appears primed to have an impact right away. While Nwosu is effective against the run, it’s his ability to wreak havoc on the quarterback that sets him apart. The Carson, CA native took his game to another level as a senior in 2017, tallying 9.5 sacks and 13 passes defensed.

Kyzir White– A hybrid safety/linebacker at West Virginia, the Chargers selected White in the fourth round with every intention on playing him at Will linebacker. The position is a perfect fit for someone of White’s talents as it maximizes his speed-power combo. How he adapts to the spot in Bradley’s scheme will be a storyline to watch throughout camp.

Nick Dzubnar– The Bolts inked Dzubnar to a two-year contract early in free agency. A capable player on defense, Dzubnar is equally valuable on special teams as he constantly ranks among the best in the league in ST tackles.

Hayes Pullard - Another former USC star, the Chargers plucked Pullard off waivers a week before the 2017 campaign began. He ended up playing a significant role after Perryman’s injury, setting career-highs across the board. Pullard totaled 74 tackles and one interception in 13 games with 10 starts.

James Onwualu– Originally signed as an undrafted free agent out of Notre Dame, Onwualu spent most of his rookie campaign on the active roster before finishing it on the practice squad. The former Fighting Irish captain saw limited duty on defense, but made his presence felt on special teams.

D’Juan Hines– The undrafted free agent out of Houston enters training camp following a standout offseason program in which he earned high praise from the coaching staff. Still, it’s one thing to do it in shorts and shells. How will he look when the pads go on? If he continues to impress, he has a good chance to continue the team’s long-standing tradition of a rookie free agent making the opening day roster.

We’re Keeping Our Eye On…

Ricky Henne: I’m going to be glued on Kyzir White. Various pundits noted how the Bolts landed a gem in the fourth round as the West Virginia star is a perfect fit for Gus Bradley’s scheme. Still, it’s a sharp learning curve for any rookie, let alone one who is transitioning to a new position as White played a hybrid safety/linebacker role for the Mountaineers. Still, White has a tremendous skillset, and is just tapping into that potential. I can’t wait to see him out at Jack Hammett Sports Complex.

Hayley Elwood: Can I say the whole LB corps? I’m saying the whole linebacker corps. This is one of the most interesting position groups on the roster because of the mix between vested veterans and younger players. I’m looking to see how all of them will be able to mesh with each other. Can rookies like Uchenna Nwosu and Kyzir White push themselves into prominent roles? What happens with the more established vets? As we realized last year, depth at this position is key, and I think this will be one of the more heated, competitive battles during camp.

Chris Hayre: Linebacker depth was tested throughout 2017 in large because of a preseason ankle injury to Denzel Perryman. Now fully healthy, I’ll be looking to see how Perryman’s consistent presence stabilizes the LB corps. Couple that with the additions of Uchenna Nwosu and Kyzir White, and there is plenty to monitor in this group during camp.

Chargers Training Camp is kicking off soon! Click here for information on attending one of the 14 open practices between July 28 and August 23. Want to attend camp in style? Enter here for your chance to win a VIP camp experience for you and 10 friends, which includes a meet and greet with a player!

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