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Projected 2015 starters: San Diego Chargers

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Around The NFL predicts the Week 1 starting lineups for all 32 teams, analyzing the potential impact of each rookie class. See every breakdown here.

Chargers Projected Starters
  Offense Defense
  QB Philip Rivers DE Kendall Reyes
  RB Melvin Gordon NT Sean Lissemore
  WR1 Malcom Floyd DE Corey Liuget
  WR2 Keenan Allen OLB Tourek Williams
  WR3 Stevie Johnson ILB Manti Te'o
  TE Antonio Gates ILB Donald Butler
  LT King Dunlap OLB Melvin Ingram
  LG Orlando Franklin CB1 Brandon Flowers
  C Chris Watt CB2 Jason Verrett
  RG Johnnie Troutman SS Jimmy Wilson
  RT D.J. Fluker FS Eric Weddle

» Melvin Gordon will step in as an immediate starter in the Chargers' backfield as a workhorse with the ability to run inside and outside. We expect Gordon to carry the load on early downs with Danny Woodhead as the third-down, pass-catching back and Branden Oliver rounding out the trio in spot duty.

» The interior of the Chargers' offensive line was a huge problem for Rivers and the running game in 2014. San Diego paid Franklin a pretty penny to help fill the left side, but we still have questions about right guard, where Johnnie Troutman performed poorly last year -- Pro Football Focus rated him their second-worst guard out of 78. Veteran undrafted free agent Kenny Wiggins (who has appeared in just one career game) or Jeremiah Sirles could push for the job, but there will still be trepidation about the spot entering the season.

» The Chargers receivers corps isn't deep. Steve Johnson is an interesting slot piece for Philip Rivers, but how he fits with Keenan Allen remains to be seen. Johnson isn't the easiest receiver to plop in the starting lineup from Day 1 -- as evidence by last season in San Francisco. Malcom Floyd played 16 games for just the first time in five years last season and his age is showing. There isn't much behind the starters. Jacoby Jones isn't a consistent, reliable receiver and Austin Pettis is Austin Pettis. We expect the Chargers to make liberal use of the Antonio Gates-Ladarius Green tight end combo in lieu of wideouts.

» The Chargers used a second-round pick on inside linebacker Denzel Perryman. The rookie could eventually take over for Donald Butler -- who struggled last season before ending the year on IR -- or even Manti Te'o. NFL Media's Lance Zierlein described Perryman as a "burly, stout, old-school linebacker build." That doesn't sound like a three-down player.

» Where is the pass rush coming from? Corey Liuget led the team from his defensive end spot last season with 4.5 quarterback takedowns. Melvin Ingram has been a career disappointment (six sacks in three seasons) and hasn't stayed healthy. John Pagano will have to get creative to produce any sort of pressure.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast reacts to the most recent developments in the Tom Brady suspension saga and makes rookie predictions for the 2015 season. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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