In this series we take a look at 12 players for the San Diego Chargers who are 25 or younger and who could be considered foundational or impact players.
Player: DE Kendall Reyes
The skinny: Selected in the second round of the 2012 draft by the Chargers out of the University of Connecticut, Reyes put together another solid season. At 6-4 and 300 pounds, Reyes finished second on the team in sacks with five and totaled 34 combined tackles -- not bad for a 3-4 defensive end mainly responsible for eating up blocks so the edge rushers can get to the quarterback.
Reason for optimism: Reyes' production is trending up, with 10.5 sacks over the past two seasons. So the expectation should be development into a more proficient pass-rusher and stout defender in the run game. In his first full year as a starter, Reyes started in every regular-season game and the two postseason games, playing in a career-high 686 regular-season snaps. Reyes also played through a couple nagging injuries, so durability has been a strength so far early in his career.
Reason for concern: Depth is an issue up front defensively for the Chargers, with only six defensive linemen currently on the roster. San Diego needs to add a couple of talented defensive linemen in the draft, or after the draft through free agency so front-line players like Reyes do not burn out by the end of the upcoming season, particularly if the Chargers make the playoffs again. San Diego also needs to consider how best to use the athletic Reyes to take advantage of his unique skill set as an early-down run stuffer, and a guy who can push the pocket in passing situations.