State Of The League: Los Angeles Chargers

A first Look at the Chargers 2021 Season!
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley looks on during the NFL preseason game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Chargers on August 22, 2021, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Training camp and the NFL preseason are here! We have been going over all 32 teams’ offseason moves, division by division: their player personnel changes, projected preseason depth charts, and more! Alas, all good things come to an end. We put a fancy bow on “The State Of The League” and the AFC West by heading back out to L.A. to check out what the Los Angeles Chargers did this offseason!

Los Angeles Chargers Preseason Projected Depth Chart

PositionStarterBackup
QBJustin HerbertChase Daniel
RB1Austin EkelerLarry Rountree
RB2Justin JacksonJoshua Kelley
FBGabe Nabers
WR1Keenan AllenJosh Palmer
WR2Mike WilliamsJalen Guyton
WR3Tyron JohnsonAustin Proehl
TE1Jared CookTre’ McKitty
TE2Donald ParhamStephen Anderson
LTRashawn SlaterTrey Pipkins
LGMatt FeilerBrenden Jaimes
CCorey LinsleyScott Quessenberry
RGOday AboushiTyree St. Louis
RTBryan BulagaStorm Norton
DLJerry TilleryBreiden Fehoko
DLLinval JosephChristian Covington
DLJustin JonesForrest Merrill
EDGEJoey BosaChris Rumph II
LBKenneth MurrayNick Niemann
LBKyzir WhiteDrue Tranquill
EDGEUchenna NwosuKyler Fackrell
CB1Chris Harris Jr.Brandon Facyson
CB2Asante Samuel Jr.Ryan Smith
CB3Michael DavisKemon Hall
SNasir AdderleyMark Webb
SDerwin JamesAlohi Gilman
KMike BadgleyTristan Vizcaino
PTy Long
LSMatt Overton
KRNasir AdderleyKJ Hill
PRKJ HillAustin Proehl

*BOLD player name = Rookie*

 

Los Angeles Chargers 2021 NFL Draft Class

Round 1 (13th overall): OT Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

Round 2 (47th): CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State

Round 3 (77th): WR Josh Palmer, Tennessee

Round 3 (97th): TE Tre’ McKitty, Georgia

Round 4 (118th): EDGE Chris Rumph II, Duke

Round 5 (159th): OT/OG Brenden Jaimes, Nebraska

Round 6: (185th): LB Nick Niemann, Iowa

Round 6 (198th): RB Larry Rountree III, Missouri

Round 7 (241st): CB Mark Webb, Georgia

 

Los Angeles Chargers Offseason Player Personnel Moves

Expired Contracts
PlayerPositionAge2020 Team2021 TeamInfo / Notes
Virgil GreenTE33LAC
Jahleel AddaeSS31LAC
Ryan GroyG31LAC
Jaylen WatkinsCB30LAC
Arrivals
PlayerPositionAge2020 Team2021 TeamAcquired via
Corey LinsleyC30GBLACFree Agency
Matt FeilerT/G29PITLACFree Agency
Jared CookTE34NOLACFree Agency
Oday AboushiT/G30DETLACFree Agency
Christian CovingtonDT28CINLACFree Agency
Kyler FackrellOLB30NYGLACFree Agency
Chase DanielQB35DETLACFree Agency
Ryan SmithCB28TBLACFree Agency
Matt OvertonLS36TENLACFree Agency
Davin BellamyLB27SFLACFree Agency
Departures
PlayerPositionAge2020 Team2021 TeamDeparted via
Mike PounceyC32LACRetirement
Melvin IngramOLB32LACPITFree Agency
Hunter HenryTE27LACNEFree Agency
Trai TurnerG28LACPITReleased
Casey HaywardCB32LACLVReleased
Denzel PerrymanILB29LACCARFree Agency
Tyrod TaylorQB32LACHOUFree Agency
Nick VigilOLB28LACMINFree Agency
Dan FeeneyG/C27LACNYJFree Agency
Isaac RochellDT26LACINDFree Agency
Sam TeviT27LACINDFree Agency
Rayshawn JenkinsS27LACJAXFree Agency
Kalen BallageRB26LACPITFree Agency
Forrest LampG27LACBUFFree Agency
Cole TonerG27LACHOUFree Agency
Damion SquareDT32LACCLEFree Agency
Malik JeffersonOLB25LACINDReleased
Re-Signed
PlayerPositionAge2020 Team2021 TeamInfo / Notes
Michael DavisCB26LACLAC
Stephen AndersonTE28LACLAC
Michael BadgleyK26LACLAC
Tyree St. LouisT/G24LACLAC
Brandon FacysonCB27LACLAC
Tevaughn CampbellCB28LACLAC
Joe GazianoDE25LACLAC
Matt SokolTE26LACLAC
Cole ChristiansenLB24LACLAC

 

Los Angeles Chargers Offseason Notes/Review

  • The Los Angeles Chargers fired former head coach Anthony Lynn despite finishing the season on a four game winning streak. The team finished the season with a 7-9 record and missed the playoffs for the second year in a row. In his place, the Chargers hired L.A. Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley. Staley brought in Joe Lombardi (New Orleans’ quarterbacks coach) and Renaldo Hill (Denver’s defensive backs coach) to be his offensive and defensive coordinators. Staley was highly sought after as a head coaching candidate this offseason after the Rams’ defense finished first in the NFL in total yards allowed, passing yards allowed, and points allowed, while finishing second in sacks, and third in rushing yards allowed.
  • Justin Herbert had a phenomenal rookie season, winning Offensive Rookie of the Year, but he spent a lot of time running for his life behind possibly the worst offensive line in the NFL last season. The Chargers had trouble protecting Herbert, and the team finished 30th in yards per carry with only 12 rushing touchdowns. Losing Mike Pouncey to a season ending hip injury was the first domino to fall. It forced the team to move Dan Feeney to center and start Forrest Lamp at guard. Neither played well, Trai Turner was also awful after coming over from Carolina via trade, and Sam Tevi was merely average. All of them are gone – Pouncey retired, the rest left in free agency – and the rebuilt offensive line has nowhere to go but up.
  • Upgrading the offensive line was the top priority. Mission accomplished. The team started the massive project by signing Corey Linsley, Matt Feiler, and Oday Aboushi in free agency; Linsley will be starting at center, Feiler at one guard spot, and Aboushi as the other starting guard. Linsley was a first team All Pro for Green Bay last season, despite missing three games and most of two others due to injury. He provides a massive upgrade at center and brings needed stability in the middle. Feiler and Aboushi are quality veterans who have experience at both tackle and guard. Los Angeles finished the offensive line overhaul when they selected Rashawn Slater 13th overall in the NFL Draft. Despite opting out of the 2020 season due to Covid, some analysts had Slater as their top tackle in the 2021 NFL Draft due to his strong play the season prior – he only allowed five pressures in all of 2019. There will be four new starters on the offensive line, with the lone starter being Bryan Bulaga – who also missed a few games last season due to injury. Depth up front was also a big issue, but Trey Pipkins (even though he was a complete liability) and Storm Norton got quality playing time last season, and the team drafted Brenden Jaimes in the 5th round of the Draft. Jaimes started 40 consecutive games and was credited with allowing only seven sacks in his four years at Nebraska.
  • Los Angeles lost tight end, Hunter Henry, in free agency to the Patriots, but made quick work in replacing him and adding some depth at receiver and tight end. The Chargers added Jared Cook in free agency to start at tight end and drafted Tre’ McKitty at the end of the 3rd round in the NFL Draft to provide depth. The team also drafted receiver Josh Palmer in the 3rd round, and he will compete with Tyron Johnson for the WR3 spot behind Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
  • The defense returns mostly intact, but the secondary will be getting a big boost with the return of Derwin James from a season-ending injury and the addition of 2nd rounder Asante Samuel Jr. at cornerback. James is one of the most gifted, young defensive players in the league, but has battled injuries the last two years. He has played in only five games total the last two seasons because of a foot fracture and a torn meniscus in his right knee. James was a first-team All-Pro as a rookie. Samuel Jr. is a bit small for the position, but he was one of the best corners in college football last season and is smooth in coverage. He has had a great offseason and is in a position to start week one on the outside opposite Chris Harris Jr.
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