The LA Chargers have had one consistent problem for an entire decade now: a poor offensive line. The team has not truly had a great offensive line since the LaDainian Tomlinson days and it took a toll on Philip Rivers and is now taking a toll on Justin Herbert.
Luckily, Herbert was the best quarterback under pressure in the NFL last season. However, the Chargers not only need to protect their franchise quarterback but need to build a better offensive line to help the run game as well.
It is the biggest roster need that the team has and it is not even close.
The expectation is that the Chargers will at least double-down on picking offensive linemen in the 2021 NFL Draft. While that would definitely help the issue, there is a better three-step plan that would instantly rejuvenate the team’s O-line.
1. An LA Chargers-Baltimore Ravens swap for Orlando Brown and Mike Williams
Baltimore Ravens tackle Orlando Brown is likely going to be traded this offseason. Brown has made it very clear that he wants to play left tackle, something that is not possible in Baltimore when All-Pro Ronnie Staley is healthy.
This does not seem to be about money or any sort of grievances with the Ravens. Brown wants to be an NFL left tackle so he can fulfill the dream that his dad had for him. He is a dang good left tackle and would absolutely start in Los Angeles.
So what could a trade look like?
The Ravens get receiving help in Mike Williams as well as a second-round pick from the Chargers. Lamar Jackson needs a vertical threat like Williams who is great at making contested catches.
The Chargers should be willing to trade Williams as they are overpaying for him this season on his fifth-year rookie option. It is a bigger need for Baltimore and they could work out an extension, potentially lowering Williams’ cap hit in 2021 as a result.
I have seen some discussion about the Chargers trading Williams and the 13th overall pick for Brown and the Ravens’ second, but I doubt that happens. While I would probably still say yes to the trade personally, I do not think the Ravens can get the 13th pick AND Williams for Brown.
Brown only has one year left on his deal and a late first-round pick is probably the best evaluation of him. A mid-second plus Williams should be more than enough.