Stock Up: Trey Pipkins, tackle
The Los Angeles Chargers headed into the offseason with a perceived big three if you will, in terms of roster needs: quarterback, left tackle and corner. They obviously only solved one of those when they drafted Justin Herbert sixth overall.
Similar to Michael Davis, that leaves Trey Pipkins‘ stock trending in a positive direction. Granted, if they do go out and sign someone like Jason Peters then this is obviously nullified, but the team expressed clear belief in the former third-round pick out of Sioux Falls.
Many Chargers fans pointed to the sack Pipkins gave up to Frank Clark as a sign that he was not ready for the NFL. I’ve since gone back and watched that game, along with the season finale against the Raiders, and thought that Pipkins actually played very well in both of those games.
He flashed explosive ability in the run game and strong hands in pass protection. Obviously there will be a learning curve if he is in fact the full-time starter, but with the moves they made on the right side and the kind of game plan they can create with mobile quarterbacks I am fine with the idea of Pipkins being the starter.
An offensive line of Pipkins-Dan Feeney–Mike Pouncey–Trai Turner–Bryan Bulaga is exponentially better than what the Chargers had last season. The importance of James Campen, the team’s new offensive line coach, cannot be stated enough here.
He has a strong history of turning mid-round picks into very successful offensive linemen. This front office expressed very publicly that he would have a strong influence in the decision-making process and perhaps he looked at Pipkins’ two starts and thought he saw enough potential that he felt comfortable moving forearm with the second-year player starting at left tackle.
That’s obviously speculation, but I have to believe that if he felt otherwise they would have brought in another tackle to provide some real competition for Pipkins. Maybe they still do, maybe once the stay at home rules are alleviated a little they’ll bring Peters out for a workout and sign him.
As of right now, Chargers fans should expect Pipkins to be the guy going forward and that’s ok. It’s not reasonable to expect Pipkins to be a star in 2020 but he can be a very serviceable player next year.