2. Kenneth Murray
I am really excited for Kenneth Murray on this defense. Murray is exactly the uber-athletic, hard-nosed linebacker that the LA Chargers have been missing for the last several years. Perryman has been that at times but has not been consistent enough.
The ceiling is much higher with Murray, who is even more athletic than Perryman and really can blossom into one of the best middle linebackers in the league. He is not going to come out of the gate as an elite middle linebacker, but I would not be shocked to see his name up there with the greats in a year or two.
He will come out of the gates and be impactful to this Chargers team, though. The difference between this defense being great and being elite is how well the team can stop the run and Murray is going to be a big part in that dynamic at the middle linebacker position.
There are some concerns about him in pass-coverage but I would not be overly concerned. Murray simply was not asked to drop back into coverage often and with so much talent around him he will be just fine.
Even if he is tasked to do so, he showcased a fantastic football IQ in college and will be able to pick it up. He is one of those likable players that just seems to get it and will adjust when needed.
I think the rookie learning curve/splitting some time with Perryman will keep him from being number one. However, I also think that number one on this list has a pretty high ceiling, so there is that.