The LA Chargers had one of the worst offensive lines in all of football last season. Justin Herbert was constantly running for his life as Charger fans had to endure yet another season of mediocre blocking from the fivesome upfront.
With Herbert being the center of the franchise, the front office understandably made improving the offensive line a priority. The team made Corey Linsley the highest-paid center in NFL history, brought in two solid guards in Oday Aboushi and Matt Feiler and used the 13th overall pick for Rashawn Slater, who many had going in the top 10.
Overall, it was a solid offseason for the Bolts on the offensive line front. Sure, the depth is not the greatest, but how many teams have truly great depth options on the offensive line? If Bryan Bulaga can stay healthy and return to his 2019 form then Herbert is going to get much more protection than last season.
NFL pundits are taking notice of the LA Chargers offensive line as well.
Pro Football Focus continued its offseason tradition of ranking different position groups. While PFF criminally underrates both Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen, the outlet gives the Chargers a favorable ranking that every fan should be happy with.
PFF ranks the Chargers’ offensive line as the 18th best in football. That might not seem great, and is slightly below average, but that is a really promising ranking considering the Chargers ranked in the 30s last year.
PFF even gives credit to the Chargers for likely being one of the most improved offensive line units in the entire league. This bodes extremely well for Justin Herbert, who is not going to regress because he has less pressures next season, like some are alluding to.
Quite frankly, an 18th ranking is modest but the Chargers could definitely be higher (as well as lower). If the team can stay healthy and everyone plays up to expectations then this is an offensive line that probably belongs in the top 12 or so.
If there are injuries and/or Bulaga can’t return to form and Slater struggles his rookie season then the Chargers will justifiably be ranked much lower. While this is an offensive line that is much better than last season, it can still be a bottom six or so offensive line if things don’t fall the Chargers’ way.
An 18th ranking is a step in the right direction and hopefully the LA Chargers continue to draft offensive linemen early in the draft to build something that is self-sustaining and does not need a big signing every offseason.
They owe that to Justin Herbert.