FB Jacob Hester (Donald Miralle/Getty)
SDBoltReport.com's Samantha Fillerup continues to rank San Diego's top-56 players. Part IV of this eight-part series takes a look at spots 29-35, a grouping that includes three off-season additions and a pair of former Cornhuskers. Find out where everybody stacks up in this latest installment.
35. Ryon Bingham (6'3", 303 pounds) begins his fifth season with the Chargers and will be around for many more after signing a three-year contract extension this off-season. He had a breakout season in 2007 in which he tallied a career-high 58 tackles according to team statisticians. Bingham was a seventh-round draft pick in 2004 out of Nebraska and always plays like he's battling for a roster spot.
Click here to learn how Bingham's draft class impacted the Chargers.
34. L.J. Shelton (6'5", 345 pounds) enters his tenth year in the League after signing a two-year deal with the Bolts shortly after the draft. He will play an important backup role as the only veteran behind Jeromey Clary and Marcus McNeill. He has the versatility to play guard, as well. The son of former NBA player Lonnie Shelton, L.J. has started every game each of the last three seasons.
Click here for more about the competition at right tackle.
33. Jeremy Newberry (6'5", 315 pounds) has played in the League for 10 years and is one of the toughest players in the NFL. A newly acquired player, Newberry will be a security net to fill in while Nick Hardwick is on the mend. Not only is Newberry a two-time Pro Bowler, but an active participant in the community. He's played his entire career in the state of California.
Click here for more on what Newberry can bring to the Chargers.
32. Carlos Polk (6'2", 262 pounds) enters his eighth season as a special teams force and emotional leader. Prior to his shoulder injury in Week 11 versus the Baltimore Ravens, he had nine solo tackles, one sack and two forced fumbles. Polk is healthy now and ready for the upcoming season. He plans to make a run at his third Special Teams Player of the Year award.
Click here for more on how Polk and Bingham have done their alma mater proud.
31. Derek Smith (6'2', 240 pounds) begins his 12th season with the NFL and his first with the Chargers. Smith was formerly a stalwart linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers before signing a two-year contract with the Bolts in February. He is a workout addict, as he has a personal trainer in addition to the team trainers, and has five 100-tackle seasons in the last seven years. He'll likely open the season as a starter while Stephen Cooper serves a four-game suspension.
Click here for a breakdown of San Diego's linebacker corps.
30. Buster Davis (6'1", 207 pounds) enters his second season in the NFL after being tabbed with San Diego's first-round pick in 2007. He is a versatile receiver with the size and strong hands to split out wide and the quickness to play out of the slot. He also handles punt returns on occasion; he fielded six last year with a long return of 24 yards. Prior to his senior year at LSU, he attended the Manning Passing Academy, where he caught passes from Peyton and Eli Manning.
Click here for analysis of San Diego's suddenly deep receiving corps.
29. Jacob Hester (5'11", 230 pounds) begins his first season in the League after the Chargers traded away a pair of draft picks to move up and nab him in the third round of this year's draft. He is very adaptable specimen, as he's proven to be a hard-nosed runner and a nifty receiver out of the backfield. He also contributes on special teams and has a reputation for fierce tackles on kick-coverage units.
Click here to find out what to expect from Hester's rookie season.
The Rest of the Rankings
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