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

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(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

From the Arizona Cardinals, the LA Chargers steal…

Quarterback Kyler Murray

I didn’t take a quarterback in the last rendition but this time I am going to. The Cardinals are trending up, they have solid foundational pieces at every important position now, thanks to Bill O’brien’s generosity.

We’ve seen star wide receivers struggle in their first year with a new team but no receiver perhaps in NFL history has done more with less than Hopkins. I think he’s going to pay big-time dividends for this team in the long run.

Patrick Peterson was tempting here, but he’s more on the decline than Sherman is. Chandler Jones is criminally underrated and I really do like him but with Bosa and Ingram, he would hardly fill a need. Isaiah Simmons, who our staff really wanted in the draft was also tempting but I ultimately went with quarterback Kyler Murray here.

Murray is in a fantastic situation with a coach who is willing to cater the offense to his every need, but his fit in Los Angeles would be fantastic as well. He’s obviously not as big as Justin Herbert but he can make every throw in the book, and with far, far better accuracy. Murray took some lumps at the start of his rookie season, which is to be expected especially when paired with a rookie head coach.

Still, he ended up being very productive on his way to winning NFL offensive rookie of the year. On the season he threw for over 3,700 yards, 20 touchdowns, with 12 interceptions and then added over 500 yards and four touchdowns rushing the football.

Obviously he lacked the consistent week to week production, but there were some big-time plays and big-time games that really flashed his potential.

He’s an obvious second-year breakout candidate this year and I personally am giddy about that potential. Another year of continuity under Kliff Kingsbury and the added weapons should do him very well. Don’t forget his offensive line was mostly terrible last year and their rushing attack was basically non-existent until Kenyan Drake arrived at the trade deadline.

There’s a lot to like about Murray going forward, but the Cardinals or in this case the Chargers would have him on a very cost-controlled contract for the next four years allowing them to really swing for the fences on the free agent or trade markets.

I’m really trying to be optimistic about Justin Herbert but even then, he doesn’t have the kind of potential that I think Murray does have. We’ve seen back to back seasons (really should’ve been three if Carson Wentz hadn’t gotten hurt) where second-year quarterbacks took that next step and won the regular-season MVP, Murray could be next in line.

In summary, the LA Chargers “stole” cornerback Richard Sherman, tight end Will Dissly, defensive tackle Aaron Donald and quarterback Kyler Murray.

The biggest challenge here was deciding between Kittle and Sherman, and Ramsey and Donald. I don’t think you could wrong there but I decided to go with the guys who are already locked into their contracts instead of the players who are due massive contract extensions.

Next. "Steal a Player" AFC East edition

Let me know what you would have done in the comments below.