San Diego Chargers: Jerry Attaochu

Good morning. Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post takes a closer look at the San Diego Chargers. Gabriel says on paper the Chargers appear better than a year ago, but he still believes that Denver is the class of the AFC West. He expects San Diego to fight it out with Kansas City for second place in the division.

Here’s what Gabriel had to say about Philip Rivers:

“In Philip Rivers, the Chargers have a very good NFL quarterback. He isn’t one of the four true 'franchise' quarterbacks (Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers), but Rivers is in the group at the next level. If there is a problem, it’s that I feel Rivers has already played his best football. With this being his 12th season in the NFL, I don’t see him getting any better than he already is. Still, his play is good enough to lead the Chargers to the playoffs. I just don’t see him as a Super Bowl-type quarterback.”

Alex Flanagan of the NFL Network talks with Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o in this video.

Chris Burke of Sports Illustrated ranks Eric Weddle as the No. 5 safety in the league.

Ricky Henne of writes about the unbreakable bond between Brandon Flowers and Eddie Royal.

Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego writes that rookie Jerry Attaochu struggled in one-on-one pass rush drills against D.J. Fluker.

Michael Gehlken and Kevin Acee take their first shot at projecting San Diego’s 53-man roster.

Marty Caswell of The Mighty 1090 AM radio writes that Malcom Floyd and Flowers had some battles in one-on-one pass drills in her practice report.

Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt of Sirius XM NFL Radio talk with Rivers in this audio link.
Some notes from the first day of San Diego Chargers rookie minicamp, which was held in 90 degree temperatures at Chargers Park on Friday.

Law looks the part: At 6-foot-1 and 255 pounds, outside linebacker Cordarro Law made his presence felt. The Southern Mississippi product finished with 14 sacks in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders in 2013, and signed a futures contract with San Diego in January. Now, the 25-year-old is fighting an uphill battle to make the final roster. Law batted down a pass and looked quick coming off the edge during team drills.

Watt at right guard: Third-round pick Chris Watt was touted for his versatility, with an ability to play all three interior offensive line positions. However, Watt was lined up at right guard at rookie minicamp -- the same position of Jeromey Clary, who is to make $4.55 million in total compensation in 2014. Watt lining up at right guard probably is not a coincidence.

Talent in the secondary: Although first-round draft choice Jason Verrett did not practice because he’s still rehabbing from shoulder surgery, a couple young defensive backs caught my eye during team drills. Arizona State product Alden Darby had a nice pass breakup over the middle, and so did Auburn cornerback Chris Davis. At 5-10 and 192 pounds, Darby looked fluid going through individual drills with the defensive backs. Davis, at 5-10 and 201 pounds, is stoutly built like a running back. Rutgers product Brandon Jones also made a nice break on the ball to pick off a pass during team drills. Jones was on the practice squad last season for San Diego.

Roll call: Verrett is wearing No. 22, and second-round draft choice Jerry Attaochu is No. 97. Watt is No. 65, defensive tackle Ryan Carrethers is No. 92, running back Marion Grice is No. 26 and receiver Tevin Reese is No. 84.

Excused absences: Offensive guard D.J. Johnson and Reese will not be at the rookie minicamp this week so they can attend graduation ceremonies. Along with Verrett, Grice did not practice because of a foot injury.
Good morning. Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego defends the Chargers retaining offensive guard Jeromey Clary, stating that the Kansas State product has earned his keep. Clary is due $4.55 million in non-guaranteed total compensation for the 2014 season.

Some team followers believe Clary's roster spot could be up for grabs with San Diego drafting a cheaper alternative to fill in at right guard in third-round selection Chris Watt. But Acee writes Clary will be on the team as San Diego’s starting right guard the upcoming season, and I agree.

In this ESPN Insider piece Insider, Nathan Jahnke of Pro Football Focus writes that Clary is one of several NFL veterans whose jobs could be in jeopardy after the draft. Jahnke notes the Chargers averaged a yard better running on the ground to the left side than to the right side last season. Also, Clary had the third-lowest run-block rating for all guards according to Pro Football Focus metrics.

Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego takes a closer look at Chargers' second-round selection Jerry Attaochu.

Ricky Henne of writes this weekend’s rookie minicamp is an important first step for the team’s newest additions.

Kyle Posey of Bolts from the Blue evaluates seventh-round selection Tevin Reese’s chances of making the final roster.

Bucky Brooks of gives the Chargers a solid B for this year's draft class.

Eliot Harrison of ranks San Diego No. 13 in his latest NFL power rankings.