LA Chargers News

LA Chargers News: Bolts’ offensive line still rated among league’s worst

(Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)
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The LA Chargers’ offensive line has undergone some changes this offseason.

One of the biggest problems for the LA Chargers over the last several seasons has been the offensive line. The team has tried to bolster the offensive line with draft picks and free-agent signings but it has been to no avail.

The Chargers have consistently trotted out a subpar offensive line and now-former quarterback Philip Rivers lived with pressure in his face. Rivers will sit comfortably behind the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive line in 2020.

The Chargers seemed to make more positive changes to the offensive line this offseason than any other year. The team signed 10-year veteran Bryan Bulaga to play tackle and flipped Russell Okung for five-time Pro Bowler Trai Turner.

The right side of the line seems to be locked in and solid. There are questions surrounding the rest of the line but there is hope for favorable answers. Mike Pouncey has been cleared to play this season, one of the left guards might rise to the occasion with an internal roster battle and Trey Pipkins is a promising tackle prospect that is one year into his development.

Despite all of this though — and despite all of the hope and optimism that this offensive line is going to be significantly better — the Chargers’ offensive line is still graded as one of the worst in the entire NFL.

LA Chargers news: Pro Football Focus ranks the NFL’s offensive lines

Every year, Pro Football Focus ranks the offensive lines heading into the football season and continues to rank them as the year goes along based on their performance. Steve Palazzolo just released the offensive line rankings for 2020 and the LA Chargers do not rank favorably.

They rank 30th. Out of 32 teams. The third-worst. The bronze medal of mediocrity.

There are some concerns that the article raises about the LA Chargers’ offensive line that are completely justified and could be an eye-opener to those fans that think it is a guarantee that the line will be better in 2020.

Palazzolo brings up Bryan Bulaga’s injury history, which is a bit unfair to the veteran tackle. He is not as injury-prone as made out to be as he has only missed two games in the last two seasons. However, on the wrong side of 30 and with the Chargers’ bad injury luck, you never know what could happen.

RELATED: Our 2020 LA Chargers offensive line grade

Turner is also a misleading addition for the Chargers. Earlier in his career, he was one of the best run-blocking guards in football but over the last two years has really taken a step back. He has never been an elite pass-blocker and his pass-blocker ability, mixed with worse run blocking over the last two years, has led to some bad seasons.

Despite being a Pro Bowler the last two years, Turner has not been that great. He allowed six sacks last season (the second-most) and posted a PFF grade that was only marginally better than Michael Schofield.

Pouncey had a bad great but when he is healthy he is, at the worst, an average NFL center. While there is potential at left guard between Dan Feeney, Forrest Lamp and Scott Quessenberry, both Feeney and Lamp have been big letdowns and at some point, you kind of are who you are in the league.

Finally, while I personally am higher on Pipkins than most, I absolutely cannot fault anyone that is concerned about him starting at left tackle as he is raw and made some big mistakes last season. However, he also put together some decent film.

The worst thing about the LA Chargers’ offensive line, at least as far as I am concerned, is the depth. Quessenberry and whoever loses out between Lamp and Feeney will provide decent inside depth but the tackle depth on this team is terrible.

Next. UDFAs hurt by smaller training camp

The last thing that fans want to see is Sam Tevi or Trent Scott taking meaningful snaps as the team fights for a playoff spot. XFL signing Storm Norton could be a savior in that regard, but I would not take it to the bank.

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