WR Chris Chambers (Denis Poroy/AP)
SDBoltReport.com's Samantha Fillerup continues to rank San Diego's top-56 players. Part VII of this eight-part series takes a look at spots 8-14, a
grouping that includes fierce foreigners, savvy skill players and big bodies in the trenches. See where everybody stacks up in this latest installment.
14. Igor Olshansky (6'6", 309 pounds) is the first player from the Soviet Union to be drafted (2004, Rd. 2) and play in the NFL. He is one of the strongest players in the NFL, having posted 43 repetitions of the 225-pound bench press. The Chargers have ranked in the League's top seven in rushing defense in three of his four seasons. He finished the 2007 season with career highs in tackles (69) and sacks (3.5) and recorded his first career interception. Olshansky will be a free agent after the 2008 season and the Chargers are looking to extend his contract.
Click here to read more about San Diego's 2004 draft class.
13. Nick Hardwick (6'4", 295 pounds) underwent surgery on his right foot in October and will probably miss the first month of the upcoming season. He is a key player on the offensive line, having earned a Pro Bowl invite in 2006. He wrestled at Purdue prior to walking onto the football team, which helped him develop the leverage he utilizes in the trenches.
Click here for more on how the Chargers are dealing with Hardwick's injury.
12. Luis Castillo (6'3", 290 pounds) is the second Dominican player to be drafted and start in the NFL and has proven to be a terrific two-way lineman, which is why the team is trying to extend his contract before he becomes a free agent after the 2009 season. His 2007 campaign was truncated by an ankle injury and there was a noticeable difference when he was not able to finish the game against the Minnesota Vikings, as Adrian Peterson ran wild for record yardage.
Click here to learn which end should really be ranked higher, Castillo or Olshansky.
11. Kris Dielman (6'4", 310 pounds) became a free agent in 2006 and passed up one of the largest contracts ever offered to an offensive lineman to re-sign a six-year contract with the Chargers for less money. He practices an old school brand of football and played in his first Pro Bowl last season because of it. His tough and nasty play paved the way for the Chargers' offense to rack up 2,039 rushing yards and rank seventh in the League. He is physical and played a key role as the Chargers totaled three games with more than 200 rushing yards in 2007.
Click here for a closer analysis of San Diego's offensive line.
10. Chris Chambers (5'11", 210) was acquired from the Miami Dolphins in October 2007 and left as one of the most prolific receivers in franchise history. Once the Chargers acquired him, they went 10-3 including the playoffs, with Chambers recording at least two catches per game. He led the team with 15.9 yards per catch in the regular season and 17.4 yards per catch in the postseason. He played in his first career playoff game and finished with the third-most receiving yards (278) and sixth-most catches (16) in the playoffs.
Click here for more on San Diego's suddenly deep receiving corps.
9. Quentin Jammer (6'0", 204 pounds) is the senior member of the Chargers' secondary and -- combined with Antonio Cromartie -- a part of one of the NFL's top cornerback tandems. Often overlooked because of his modest interception numbers, Jammer is a consistently solid player who is trusted to cover the NFL's best receivers. His outstanding performance against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game (three pass breakups and an interception) shows he is not afraid of big moments.
Click here to learn why Jammer is one of the most underrated players in the NFL.
8. Shaun Phillips (6'3", 262 pounds) is one of the best pass-rushing linebackers in the NFL, tallying 20 sacks over the last two seasons. Last year, he also chipped in 68 tackles, two interceptions and a touchdown. He has the quickest first step in the League and is the player charged with "hyping up" the defense.
Click here to learn how Phillips' alma mater has helped load up the Chargers.
The Rest of the Rankings
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