3 Chargers who could be nice surprises in 2024

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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Daiyan Henley could be a nice surprise for the Chargers

Both of the Chargers' starting linebackers from the 2023 season are no longer with the team heading into the 2024 NFL Draft. Eric Kendricks was predictably cut for salary cap reasons as he proved to be the last bad signing of the Tom Telesco era.

Leaving the Chargers with him was the worst first-round pick of the Telesco era, Kenneth Murray. Murray alone was not the worst first-round pick (see: Jerry Tillery) but the fact that the Chargers traded up for him and he could never even be a serviceable linebacker shows how bad that selection was.

To replace these two (along with Amen Ogbongbemiga), the Chargers have signed Denzel Perryman and Troy Dye. Perryman is a good run defender but there is no denying that he is past his prime as an NFL linebacker. Dye is a very promising special teams player, but shouldn't be playing a big role on defense.

The Chargers can still draft a linebacker but with so many other needs, the Bolts may not take one until the third round at the earliest. And even then, this linebacker class is so top-heavy that the Chargers may not land someone who can actually start.

Harbaugh and Hortiz know all of this so the fact that they are not adding more linebacker help may be indicative of some faith in second-year linebacker Daiyan Henley. Henley didn't really get a chance to play much on defense last season but he still has the promising traits that he came into the league with last season.

Henley being able to handle a starting linebacker workload in his second season could be a huge x-factor for the success of the Chargers' defense next season. Hopefully, he proves that he can handle that task.