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Chargers Preseason Week 2 Studs And Duds

Chargers Preseason Studs

We are back with Chargers Preseason Studs and Duds. For this Week 2 edition, we will cover both offense and defense. The Los Angeles Chargers faced off against the New Orleans Saints after playing against them in joint practices. Like nearly every other Charger game this contest ended up being a nail-biter. A brutal loss 22-17, and like Brandon Staley said, this loss falls on the offensive line and the entire offense. In this loss, there were some studs but quite a bit more duds than last week.

Chargers Preseason Week 2 Studs

Stud: Zack Bailey

Standing at a mauling 6′-6″ and 300 pounds, the former undrafted free agent Zack Bailey is making his case to make this roster. An overall poor offensive line performance does not include Bailey, as he was a stalwart at right guard during this battle against the rugged Saints defensive line.

Bailey had himself a day, earning a 77.0 PFF grade on 54 snaps. On 42 of these snaps, he was pass-blocking for the former North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick. He earned an 80.0 grade on these snaps, allowing pressure and one sack; that sack being more-so on Easton Stick playing hero ball.

As for Bailey’s performance in the run game which remained pretty lackluster all game, he performed quite well, earning a 72.6 run block game, showing his ability to run both inside calls and outside calls, as Kellen Moore called both the likes of Pin-Pull toss plays & inside zone.

Stud: Quentin Johnston

After being on the dud list last week, Quentin Johnston had himself a much better performance in Week 2 of the preseason. One week can change a lot for players, especially those of Johnston’s talent. Johnston earned himself a Chargers preseason Week 2 stud rank.

Johnston played strictly on the outside, having 16 snaps out wide. On these snaps, he had three catches for 37 yards. Although it is not mind-shattering numbers, the routes he ran were very sharp. He has shown immense growth in that department, learning from the likes of Keenan Allen how to snap off his routes with more concise motion. If he continues to grow, expect big things from the former TCU product.

Stud: Deane Leonard

Another Charger preseason stud was Deane Leonard. Leonard was the Chargers seventh-round selection last year, mainly being selected for his length and speed. Leonard earned a spot on the roster last season with his special teams play, showing to be very good at the gunner position. This season, he is fighting for real defensive snaps; and has shown thus far he may deserve it.

The coaching staff has truly shown its ability to take any defensive back and turn them into a solid defender. Leonard barely played any real college football, as he came from Canada. During his time in the SEC he did not show much ability, other than the ball of clay he is. This coaching staff is truly starting to mold Leonard into a real contributor for this football team.

Last week the former Canadian football player had himself a solid performance, but this week, he really stepped it up. He had an 81.7 overall grade, showing his ability to stop the run and shoot the correct gaps to ensure contain is had. After a great stop, he lines up against his receiver and shuts them down, only allowing one reception for six yards on 24 coverage snaps.

Stud: Daiyan Henley

A new fan favorite, Daiyan Henley was most definitely a preseason stud for the Chargers this week. On 48 total snaps, Henley had a very good 75.5 overall grade, showing his ability to shoot gaps and really run downhill and thump opposing linemen and ball carriers.

Even while sharing snaps to newly signed Blake Lynch, Henley recorded one pressure and one very impressive sack. He also had six tackles and five total stops. Truly a force to be reckoned with, as Henley ensured nothing got in his way. Although, his day was not perfect as his coverage was in general solid, but he gave up one bad reception on a perfectly thrown wheel route from Quentin Johnston’s former teammate, Kendre Miller.

Stud: Tiawan Mullen

Although a new face for many, Tiawan Mullen showed why he deserves a shot to make this team. As an undrafted rookie free agent from Indiana, Mullen has a lot to prove, and this week against the Saints, he showed his prowess in the preseason as a stud for the Chargers.

On 21 total snaps, Mullen showed his ability to be a full three-down defender. His two stops in the run game, his one-pass breakup, and his ability to limit yards after contact really popped. To continue, Mullen had four targets for two receptions only going for 21 yards. To have this type of production as a slot defender is quite impressive, as the nickel defender always has to worry about two-way goes. Look for Mullen to continue to make a strong push for this team’s practice squad next week against the San Francisco 49ers.

Chargers Preseason Week 2 Duds

Dud: Easton Stick

After landing himself on the Chargers preseason week one stud list, Easton Stick went backward. A really great week one showing for Stick had media and fans alike praising him, and thinking he was a lock to be Justin Herbert’s backup for a very long time. He also made conversations about the QB2 battle quiet. Unfortunately, Stick came back to earth and showed why he is fighting for his future as the Los Angeles Charger’s backup role.

This week, against the Saints, Stick threw 41 passes for only 21 completions. This adds up to a very ugly 51.2% completion percentage, his 233 yards on 5.7 yards per attempt is reminiscent of the mishandling of Justin Herbert in the Joe Lombardi offense. Beyond his lack of moving the ball, Stick threw two interceptions, granted, one was at the end of the game, when he was trying to make anything happen.

Outside of the absolutely mind-boggling completion of a hail mary, Stick struggled in the pass game. In the run game, Stick had 63 yards and two scores. Stick showed great ability to extend plays last week, and make smart decisions doing so. This week those extensions of plays turned into him choosing not to take check downs and instead play hero ball, leading to him taking plenty of unnecessary sacks. An overall rough performance for Stick, but confidence still lingers from week one.

Dud: Foster Sarell

To absolutely no one’s surprise, we have the perennial all-pro in Chargers preseason dud, Foster Sarell as a dud for this week. I truly want Sarell to improve and contribute to this team, as the Chargers are relying on him to be our swing tackle. Although that decision may not be realistic, it is the fact of the situation. For this situation to improve, the Chargers are relying on Sarell to become a sufficient spot starter.

Asking him to do so is a long shot, here is why; a penalty, a hurry, a pressure, a 52.1 run block grade, and zero confidence instilled. Sarell had 70 snaps at right tackle this week, and has not shown to be able to play either side. Last week, he played 53 snaps at left tackle and performed even worse. Look for the Chargers to look to veteran free agent adds to bolster this room, as this type of performance is unacceptable for a team with super bowl aspirations.

Dud: Michael Jacquet

Unlike Foster Sarell, Michael Jacquet has shown some level of promise in his time with the Chargers. Jacquet spent all of last year on the Chargers practice squad and had a very solid performance last week against the Rams. Jacquet is a 6’2 200lb defensive back from Louisiana who had himself a rough week against the Saints and looks to bounce back.

As a Chargers preseason week two dud candidate, Jacquet did have some positives, as his tackling was very solid and shown to be solid in that regard. Lining up all over the field, taking snaps at safety, corner, nickel, and in the box, Jacquet struggled in coverage. He gave up two catches for 63 yards on three targets, with a long of 53. This earned him a 44.5 coverage grade, which is nearly twenty points lower than last weeks 64.0 grade.

All in all, the Chargers are seeing to see the roster shape up. Guys like Quentin Johnston are going to play an absolutely massive role no matter what, but guys like Tiawan Mullen are clawing to make this Chargers roster.

In week three we will continue to see players who are trying to earn themselves a role on the team will eventually find themselves in either live action on Sundays or preparing the team for them on the practice squad. As for our duds, these players will look to take strides to bounce back and make this team from their sheer will and hard work.

Main Photo: Orlando Ramirez – USA Today Sports


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