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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / State Of The League: Los Angeles Chargers

State Of The League: Los Angeles Chargers

A first Look at the Chargers 2021 Season!
Publish Date: 08/27/2021
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
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

Position Starter Backup
QB Justin Herbert Chase Daniel
RB1 Austin Ekeler Larry Rountree
RB2 Justin Jackson Joshua Kelley
FB Gabe Nabers
WR1 Keenan Allen Josh Palmer
WR2 Mike Williams Jalen Guyton
WR3 Tyron Johnson Austin Proehl
TE1 Jared Cook Tre’ McKitty
TE2 Donald Parham Stephen Anderson
LT Rashawn Slater Trey Pipkins
LG Matt Feiler Brenden Jaimes
C Corey Linsley Scott Quessenberry
RG Oday Aboushi Tyree St. Louis
RT Bryan Bulaga Storm Norton
DL Jerry Tillery Breiden Fehoko
DL Linval Joseph Christian Covington
DL Justin Jones Forrest Merrill
EDGE Joey Bosa Chris Rumph II
LB Kenneth Murray Nick Niemann
LB Kyzir White Drue Tranquill
EDGE Uchenna Nwosu Kyler Fackrell
CB1 Chris Harris Jr. Brandon Facyson
CB2 Asante Samuel Jr. Ryan Smith
CB3 Michael Davis Kemon Hall
S Nasir Adderley Mark Webb
S Derwin James Alohi Gilman
K Mike Badgley Tristan Vizcaino
P Ty Long
LS Matt Overton
KR Nasir Adderley KJ Hill
PR KJ Hill Austin 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
Player Position Age 2020 Team 2021 Team Info / Notes
Virgil Green TE 33 LAC
Jahleel Addae SS 31 LAC
Ryan Groy G 31 LAC
Jaylen Watkins CB 30 LAC
Player Position Age 2020 Team 2021 Team Acquired via
Corey Linsley C 30 GB LAC Free Agency
Matt Feiler T/G 29 PIT LAC Free Agency
Jared Cook TE 34 NO LAC Free Agency
Oday Aboushi T/G 30 DET LAC Free Agency
Christian Covington DT 28 CIN LAC Free Agency
Kyler Fackrell OLB 30 NYG LAC Free Agency
Chase Daniel QB 35 DET LAC Free Agency
Ryan Smith CB 28 TB LAC Free Agency
Matt Overton LS 36 TEN LAC Free Agency
Davin Bellamy LB 27 SF LAC Free Agency
Player Position Age 2020 Team 2021 Team Departed via
Mike Pouncey C 32 LAC Retirement
Melvin Ingram OLB 32 LAC PIT Free Agency
Hunter Henry TE 27 LAC NE Free Agency
Trai Turner G 28 LAC PIT Released
Casey Hayward CB 32 LAC LV Released
Denzel Perryman ILB 29 LAC CAR Free Agency
Tyrod Taylor QB 32 LAC HOU Free Agency
Nick Vigil OLB 28 LAC MIN Free Agency
Dan Feeney G/C 27 LAC NYJ Free Agency
Isaac Rochell DT 26 LAC IND Free Agency
Sam Tevi T 27 LAC IND Free Agency
Rayshawn Jenkins S 27 LAC JAX Free Agency
Kalen Ballage RB 26 LAC PIT Free Agency
Forrest Lamp G 27 LAC BUF Free Agency
Cole Toner G 27 LAC HOU Free Agency
Damion Square DT 32 LAC CLE Free Agency
Malik Jefferson OLB 25 LAC IND Released
Player Position Age 2020 Team 2021 Team Info / Notes
Michael Davis CB 26 LAC LAC
Stephen Anderson TE 28 LAC LAC
Michael Badgley K 26 LAC LAC
Tyree St. Louis T/G 24 LAC LAC
Brandon Facyson CB 27 LAC LAC
Tevaughn Campbell CB 28 LAC LAC
Joe Gaziano DE 25 LAC LAC
Matt Sokol TE 26 LAC LAC
Cole Christiansen LB 24 LAC LAC


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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