Chargers Draft

LA Chargers NFL Draft: 3 biggest takeaways from 2021 rookie class

Rashawn Slater selected by the Los Angeles Chargers during the 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Rashawn Slater selected by the Los Angeles Chargers during the 2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Josh Palmer, Tennessee Volunteers
Josh Palmer, Tennessee Volunteers

Tennessee wide receiver Josh Palmer (5) Mandatory Credit: Caitie McMekin-USA TODAY NETWORK

No. 3: LA Chargers should be better in the red zone

While Los Angeles stood to improve in a lot of areas heading into 2021, one of the areas where it needed to get much better was down inside the red zone.

Last year, the LA Chargers managed touchdowns just 57.14 percent of the time when inside opponents’ 20-yard lines, which ranked 20th in the league, and this ultimately led to the Bolts boasting the NFL’s 18th-best scoring offense.

For Justin Herbert to take that next step in his development, LA needs to improve in this area.

The third-round additions of Josh Palmer and Tre’ McKitty should help this immensely. Palmer, for instance, is a 6-foot-1 and 210-pound menace whose solid route-running skills and physicality should make for intriguing one-on-one matchups within confined spaces. One of the things that stood out about the Canadian-born prospect is his ability to use his hands and pluck away passes at the catch point with relative ease.

McKitty, 6-foot-4 and 246 pounds, wasn’t much of a pass-catcher in Georgia’s run-heavy offense. But when given the chance to do so, he looked every part a legitimate receiving threat. By most accounts, he should be able to fill the void left by the free-agent departure of tight end Hunter Henry to the New England Patriots.

If things work out well for these two early, we should be able to see Herbert’s 54.9 red-zone completion percentage increase significantly in 2021.

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