LA Chargers: “Steal a Player” series – NFC North edition

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(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

From the Minnesota Vikings, the LA Chargers steal…

DT Michael Pierce

Michael Pierce was an offseason signing from Baltimore that was effectively brought in to replace Linval Joseph, who the Vikings lost to the Chargers. Some may think of this steal as redundant because of Joseph, but Pierce would be more of a necessity than a luxury in my opinion.

As stated in my NFC East steal a player piece, the interior line doesn’t have my full confidence even after the addition of Joseph. Tillery and Jones are still developing and are OK for where they are currently, but they may still be a year or two away from truly being starting-caliber tackles.

Having Pierce and Joseph in the middle would be devastating for opposing offenses trying to have a sufficient ground game. Over the last four seasons, Pierce has averaged an 82.9 rush defense grade, while Joseph is at a 77.9 over the same time span. With both tackles, offensive lines simply wouldn’t have the option of double-teaming Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram as frequently as they have been.

Pierce is able to get a lot of power downhill, especially when bull rushing. While there needs to be a little more consistency from play to play, he’s still fairly young, only entering his fifth year in the league.

Joseph and Pierce would be able to suffocate offenses by taking the run game out of the equation on a decent percentage of snaps while freeing up Bosa and Ingram to dominate with the pass rush. Being able to work with Tillery and Jones in development on a daily basis is a plus as well.