Denver Broncos: Roster matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers

Bradley Chubb, Denver Broncos. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Bradley Chubb, Denver Broncos. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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Teddy Bridgewater, Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

The Denver Broncos’ roster is loaded with talent, and it stacks up very favorably against the Los Angeles Chargers, a fellow division rival.

In this three-part article series, I am breaking down the Denver Broncos roster and comparing it to their AFC West rivals.  I’ve done the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders so far, and the last team that needs done is the Los Angeles Chargers.

The roster comparisons I did for the Chiefs and Raiders showed that the Broncos have a more talented roster than both teams, and this is rather expected.

While the Denver Broncos don’t have an elite quarterback, the rest of their roster makes up for the juice they lack at the game’s most important position.

The Chargers are no different.  Justin Herbert is a young and electric player and provides more upside at the position than Teddy Bridgewater.

However, the Broncos may just have a stronger overall roster, and that would prove to be crucial as the season drags on.

Denver Broncos Roster Matchup Against Chargers

1. Offense – QB, WR, TE, RB, OL

Even though Teddy Bridgewater is off to a hot start, Justin Herbert is the better quarterback.  He’s also younger and has a much bigger upside.  No surprise that the Chargers get the nod here.

The wide receivers get interesting.

The Chargers wide receiving group is headline by Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.  Allen is a superb player and a great route runner.  Mike Williams is next on the list, and he’s very talented, however, he’s also inconsistent.

He’s missed 8 career games coming into the 2021 season and has never caught 50 passes in a season, despite a 7th overall draft pick.

The Chargers also have guys like KJ Hill Jr, Joshua Palmer, and Jalen Guyton.  It’s a deep group, but I don’t think their ceiling is as high as the Broncos’ group.

Even with Jerry Jeudy out of the lineup, the Broncos still have a very good trio of pass-catchers.

Once Jerry Jeudy gets back, we should hopefully see their dominance come to light.  Advantage, Broncos.

The tight ends are rather easy to decide.  The Chargers starting tight end is the elder Jared Cook, who has been able to produce for over 10 years.  However, he’s no Noah Fant.  Fant is simply the better player here, and I think big Albert Okwuegbunam is better than the Chargers’ second man down the depth chart, Tre’ McKitty.

Advantage, Broncos.

Running back is another easy one for me to decide.

The Chargers’ top guy is Austin Ekeler, a true threat on the ground and in the passing game.

The weird thing is though, is Ekeler has more career receiving yards and touchdowns than rushing yards and touchdowns.

It’s an odd career thus far for Ekeler, but as a pure runner, I like him a lot less than both Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams.

Farther down the depth chart, the Chargers roster Justin Jackson, Joshua Kelly, and Larry Rountree III.  The Broncos have the better pure runners than the Chargers, and that’s the more important aspect here, in my opinion.

Advantage, Chargers.

As for the offensive line, it’s a different story.  The Chargers had the worst offensive line in football last year, and they completely overhauled their unit, highlighted by draft pick Rashawn Slater and free agent signing Corey Linsley.

I think the Chargers have more talent on their offensive line and a slightly better long-term outlook.

The Broncos appear to have some issues along their interior, and their running game has been impacted as a result.

The Chargers have the advantage.

So, the offensive tallies give the Broncos the advantage at wide receiver, tight end, and running back, and the Chargers have the advantage at quarterback and the offensive line.