3. Develop into a really solid blocker this season
The LA Chargers are going to have a completely different offense than we are used to from past years. This offense is going to have far more moving pieces, which is kickstarted by the change of direction at the quarterback position from Philip Rivers to Tyrod Taylor and (eventually) Justin Herbert.
That means we are likely going to see a lot more option plays, more play-action plays and just more dedicated quarterback runs as a result. The passing attempts will go down but the creativity should go up.
In the midst of all this, as the RB1, Austin Ekeler must emerge as a really solid blocker this season. He is not going to be called on to block much but it will be more than previous years, especially in open field blocking for Tyrod Taylor.
Ekeler has not been bad when he has been asked to block in his career, he just has not done so that much. Last season, according to Pro Football Focus, Ekeler had 36 pass blocks and 38 run blocks, both career highs. He posted a 56.6 pass-blocking grade and 58.6 run-blocking grade.
Those grades are not the end-all say-all and Ekeler definitely has the strength to become a great blocker, if used properly, this season.
It is not necessarily something that is of major importance but if Ekeler is going to develop into one of the best RB1’s in the league, which is the goal, right, then developing a more consistent blocking game is important.
For someone as talented as Ekeler we have to sometimes nitpick the smaller things for him to get better at. Blocking is certainly one of them.