The LA Chargers have had some great undrafted free agents.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, things for the NFL are going to look different leading up to the season, which may have a direct impact on the way the roster is shaped. With the situation continuing to evolve, we could see a modified training camp (and we have already seen the league change to fewer preseason games).
The biggest players that are hurt by this situation are undrafted free agents, and the LA Chargers have a lot of them. The Chargers signed 19 UDFAs this offseason and without a proper training camp, most will not even get the fair shake that they deserve.
This is a shame, too, as the Chargers have had some good success with undrafted free agents and could miss out on a hidden gem as a result.
To put into perspective just how good undrafted free agents can be, we decided to rank the five best UDFAs in franchise history.
*Note: We only looked at UDFA after the NFL-AFL merger in 1972 to find traditional UDFA.
Best UDFAs in LA Chargers history: 5. Austin Ekeler
Now, you could make the case that Austin Ekeler does not belong on this list and I would not argue that. He ranks 14th in career Approximate Value among other UDFAs in franchise history and has only played three seasons in the league.
And for the most part, Ekeler has been the second-string running back on the Bolts. It might be too soon to crown him in this top five, it may seem.
However, Ekeler has shown more raw talent than a lot of those that rank ahead of him in career numbers with the lone difference being that the other players played more games than Ekeler. That absolutely should be a factor, as anything could happen, but Ekeler is trending to shoot far up the list.
Heck, if he has the kind of season he had last year he would go from 14th to eighth on the all-time list.
Ekeler is one of the best dual-threat running backs in the league and is one of the best recent examples in the entire league in how valuable UDFAs can be.