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Who Are the Chargers X-Factors Heading Into Training Camp?


The countdown for Chargers 2024 Training Camp is officially on as we're two weeks away from the veteran report date.

A roundtable of ESPN NFL experts recently combed through each team’s roster to pick out biggest strengths and players to keep an eye on in the coming months.

Seth Walder of ESPN was in charge of selecting an X-Factor for the Chargers in 2024, but he went with a pair of wide receivers in Joshua Palmer and Ladd McConkey.

Walder wrote:

The Chargers jettisoned Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, setting their sights on the future at wide receiver. It made sense for the long term.

Palmer is entering his fourth season with the Bolts while McConkey was a second-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Chargers wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal said last month that while the Bolts receiving group is young, they have also adapted well to a new coaching staff.

"I would say that they're young and they're willing. That's what really stands out," Lal said.

"I'm throwing a lot at them technique-wise. I demand a lot of them," Lal added. "They have been really good about trying their hardest to implement all of the techniques along with learning all of the offense."

ESPN's Mike Clay, who was tasked with picking the Bolts biggest strength, went with a veteran-laded group and landed on the Chargers edge rushers.

Clay wrote:

Joey Bosa should be the headliner here, but injuries have been an issue, as he's been limited to 14 games over the past two seasons. Of course, he was a superstar during his first six seasons (58 sacks) and was effective in nine games in 2023 (6.5 sacks). Opposite Bosa is Khalil Mack, who is now 33 years old but still playing elite ball, having recorded 17.0 sacks last season (fourth-most in the league). Second-year man Tuli Tuipulotu and veteran newcomer Bud Dupree add solid depth.

The Bolts edge rusher group might be the deepest position group on the entire roster, a notion that Dupree said himself last month.

"Joey comes in every day and works hard. Khalil comes in every day and works hard," Dupree said. "It speaks for itself when they get on the field with the way that they produce.

"Tuli is a young guy. He's coming in and works hard as well. He just follows the leader," Dupree added. "Being in that group is refreshing. Not saying that I haven't been part of groups that work hard, but to be on a new team and see that's what you're walking into is a vibe."

The panel also picked out a pair of non-starters to know, with Aaron Schatz tabbing a pair of rookies in Cam Hart and Tarheeb Still, both of whom were fifth-round picks in April.

Schatz wrote:

The Chargers are lacking in secondary depth, which will put a lot of pressure on these two fifth-round rookies if there are any injuries among the starters. Hart is more of a projection with his size (6-2, 207 pounds) and skill. Still fits better in the slot, with better coverage talent but less size (6-1, 196 pounds) and speed.

Still was among the standouts as spring practices progressed as he notched an interception on Justin Herbert and had multiple pass breakups during minicamp.

ESPN's breakdown of each NFL roster can be found here.

Before the Chargers' team practice at Camp Pendleton, the team hosted a free clinic for children of military personnel. Chargers legend Corey Liuget was on hand as the event welcomed 150 boys and girls ages 5-14 and focused on teaching the fundamentals of flag football.

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