LA Chargers: Justin Herbert ranked bafflingly low in 2021 unit grades


The LA Chargers are going to be one of the most interesting teams to watch in the NFL next season. Charger fans are going to see Justin Herbert be one year better and the hope is that Brandon Staley can be the solution for the problems in Los Angeles.

As it currently stands, the roster is far from complete. The 2021 NFL Draft is going to be extremely important for the Bolts to fill certain roster holes on the team. If they draft well, the chances of success in 2021 rise. If they draft poorly, 2021 could be an ugly season.

The roster holes are reflecting in Mike Clay’s annual NFL roster unit grades. The Chargers rank 22nd overall with the worst grades being offensive line and cornerback. That makes sense. Those are the two positions that the Bolts will target in the 2021 NFL Draft.

The most surprising unit grade for the Chargers is the quarterback grade. While there is more than one quarterback on the roster, it is mostly influenced by the starting quarterback. And according to our Bolt Beat staff rankings, Justin Herbert was the eighth-best quarterback in the NFL last season.

Not according to Clay’s unit grades.

The quarterback grade for the LA Chargers disrespects Justin Herbert.

Clay gives the Chargers a 2.1 unit grade for the quarterback position. The grades are on a scale from zero to four, much like a grade-point average. And if this was the Chargers’ GPA, then they would have gotten a ‘C’ at the quarterback position.


That is not a direct comparison, though, as there is only one team in the league that would get an ‘A’ by that logic (Kansas City Chiefs). However, when compared to the rest of the league, it is staggering how low the Chargers’ unit grade is at quarterback.

The Chargers rank smack dab in the middle at 16th. What is more surprising is the teams that rank ahead of the Chargers.

  • 4.0-3.6: Kansas City Chiefs, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Houston Texans
  • 3.5-3.1: Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens
  • 3.0-2.6: Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Las Vegas Raiders
  • 2.5-2.2: Los Angeles Rams, Minnesota Vikings, Cleveland Browns

There are some interesting teams ahead of the LA Chargers. You cannot tell me that the Browns, Vikings, Rams, Raiders, Falcons and Cowboys are better at quarterback. Have we forgotten about how good Justin Herbert was last season?

Have we forgotten that if Herbert played all 16 games that he would have finished with 4,600 yards, 33 passing touchdowns all with a completion percentage over 65%? Let’s not forget the five rushing touchdowns and 234 rushing yards, either.

Maybe the backup quarterbacks have a bigger factor in the unit grades than it appears and we can blame Easton Stick for bogging the quarterback position down. That has to be the only explanation as I don’t see how anyone can justify putting Justin Herbert below the likes of Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield, Derek Carr, etc.

Next. Mock draft if the Chargers trade up for Penei Sewell

But hey, Justin Herbert was disrespected prior to last season as well and we all know how that turned out for the LA Chargers.