Chargers Draft

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

By Peter Panacy
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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Justin Herbert, LA Chargers
Justin Herbert, LA Chargers /

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

No. 1: Justin Herbert should have plenty of time to throw

There are a number of concerning stats, rankings and figures when evaluating the LA Chargers offensive line last year.

For starters, Pro Football Focus ranked this unit dead last at the conclusion of 2020, mandating the need to draft Rashawn Slater and Brenden Jaimes while also bringing aboard linemen Corey Linsley, Matt Feiler and Oday Aboushi.

Los Angeles Chargers

Second, according to Next Gen Stats, Justin Herbert’s time to throw was above that magical 2.5-second mark at 2.69 seconds, which is in the middle of the pack for NFL quarterbacks last year but exceptionally problematic when one considers the problems the Bolts faced in pass protection.

This ultimately led to Herbert taking 32 sacks on the year, tied for ninth most, over 15 games. And he was pressured a whopping 28.7 percent of his dropbacks, too, which clearly isn’t good.

Slater will clearly garner the most attention at left tackle when looking at the revamped LA O-line, and that’s fine. His pedigree as a potentially elite-level lineman was a prime reason why Tom Telesco made the selection in the first place.

But don’t sleep on Jaimes, who is versatile enough to start at multiple positions or be an above-average backup to support whichever players wind up earning the starting jobs up front.

Getting Jaimes in Round 5 was a notable steal.

Either way, expect the LA Chargers O-line to do a complete 180 with regards to its overall performance this upcoming season. Heck, if anything, mere modest improvement when compared to last year would be a major step in the right direction.

Next. 3 predictions for Chargers' top draft pick, Rashawn Slater