Los Angeles Chargers: How trading up for Kenneth Murray impacts O-line

By Steven Haglund

The Los Angeles Chargers pulled off a draft-day trade for the first time in a while, but what does this mean for the offensive line?

The Los Angeles Chargers trading for the former Oklahoma linebacker was an absolute slam dunk. The team reportedly viewed him as a top 15 player in the draft, so adding him in with Justin Herbert is fantastic.

However, this likely leaves the team out of the range of adding any of the high ceiling offensive tackles in this class. As of writing this Joshua Jones of Houston and Ezra Cleveland of Boise State were still on the board.

What this move could signify is that the team is either comfortable with letting Trey Pipkins, Sam Tevi and Forrest Lamp battling it out in training camp for the right to be the starting left tackle. Pipkins, easily has the highest ceiling of the group in my opinion. Lamp cannot seem to say on the field and I think we’ve all seen enough of Tevi to know he’s probably not a starting offensive tackle in the NFL.

General manager Tom Telesco said this morning that the team won’t rule out a potential trade to get back into the second or third rounds today, but said they won’t be taking the day off either. While some fans are speculating that could mean a potential trade for Desmond King, I just don’t see that happening.

It could make sense to get something for King before he hits free agency after next season, but King is a former All-Pro. He has proven value to this team and it remains to be seen what last year’s second-round pick, Nasir Adderly is capable of.

With Adrian Phillips off to a new team, they need to see what King can do in his new role. If he returns to form, then they can keep him around and they have yet another versatile chess piece on defense. If he doesn’t, they can let him walk and hand the role to Adderly.

In regards to the offensive line, that leaves the team in quite a pickle. With the additions of Bryan Bulaga and Trai Turner they don’t absolutely need to upgrade the left tackle position right now. Giving Pipkins a chance isn’t the worst idea. But if the team thinks they are close to contending this upcoming season then that position is clearly the weak link of the offense.

Without a second or third-round pic,k they won’t be in a viable position to get an upgrade over Pipkins. The team could select Connecticut’s Matt Peart, Kansas’ Hakeem Adeniji or Missouri’s Yasir Durant tomorrow but none of those players are an upgrade over what they currently have in Pipkins, especially in a shortened offseason.

This is where it gets interesting because the team has an estimated eight million dollars in remaining cap space (after accounting for the contracts of the draft picks and in-season moves). That being said, that is enough to possibly pull off another high value, high impact signing if they so choose. If they want to they could easily target a veteran receiver like Taylor Gabriel still, but the signing that makes the most sense here is Jason Peters.

He is essentially the only clear upgrade over Pipkins that is still available. While he is 38 years old and has been banged up recently, bringing him in on a one year deal is just plain smart. An offensive line of Peter, Dan Feeney, Mike Pouncey, Turner and Bulaga would easily be the best offensive line the Los Angeles Chargers have had since Nick Hardwick was in uniform.

Next. Why the Chargers drafted Kenneth Murray

Again, this really depends on how this team views Pipkins. Clearly they believe in him enough to pass trade their second and third-round picks for Murray.