Chargers rookie Rashawn Slater impresses in brief preseason appearance
Coach Brandon Staley announced Thursday that the majority of his starters wouldn’t participate in any of the three exhibitions scheduled for this month.
Still, there was plenty to observe early in the Chargers’ eventual 13-6 win.
Rookie left tackle Rashawn Slater looked impressive in his only series. Drafted No. 13 overall in April, Slater was strong and steady as the Chargers went on a 21-play, 73-yard drive that ended in a 21-yard field goal by Tristan Vizcaino.
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He started off matched up against outside linebacker Chris Garrett, a seventh-round pick out of Concordia-St. Paul.
As the series unfolded, Slater next took on Earnest Brown IV, a rookie defensive lineman the Rams took in the fifth round.
That matchup was a familiar one for Slater. He and Brown were teammates at Northwestern.
After the opening drive, Slater was replaced by Trey Pipkins. On the first snap of that next series, Pipkins gave up a pressure.
Chase Daniel started at quarterback and led the offense on its extended field-goal drive to begin the game.
The Chargers picked up six first downs en route to moving from their own 25-yard line to the Rams’ two.
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The possession stalled after a short run by Justin Jackson and back-to-back incompletions. Daniel was pressured on the first misfire as rookie tight end Tre’ McKitty was unable to hold his block.
Along with Slater, the rest of the starting offensive line featured Brenden Jaimes (left guard), Scott Quessenberry (center), Tyree St. Louis (right guard) and Storm Norton (right tackle).
Jaimes, a rookie, was a fifth-round pick.
The Chargers’ first series on defense also was impressive as they rose up to force a punt after the Rams moved past the 50-yard line.
Veteran defensive lineman Christian Covington had a tackle for loss, Drue Tranquill pressured Devlin Hodges into an incompletion with an expertly timed blitz and Kyzir White had a tackle for loss.
Rookie wide receiver Josh Palmer, who has been impressive in training camp, continued to shine with six catches for 36 yards in the first half.
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Palmer, a third-round pick, has emerged as a potential target for quarterback Justin Herbert behind veterans Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
Along with Tranquill, White and Jackson, edge rushers Uchenna Nwosu and Kyler Fackrell, cornerback Michael Davis and safety Nasir Adderley were among the Chargers who played.
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