3 Chargers who could be nice surprises in 2024

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers
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Jerry Tillery could be a nice surprise for the Chargers

There is a large camp of Chargers fans who want to see the team take a tackle in some capacity in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. The team scenario for many of these fans is trading down with the Minnesota Vikings, picking up the 23rd selection in the process, and taking a tackle with the 11th pick.

On paper, that seems to make a lot of sense. After all, Justin Herbert's career has been painted by the constant pressure that he has been under as a passer. With Herbert coming off a season-ending finger injury, the desire to add to the offensive line to protect him has only grown.

While all of this is valid, Herbert was not under pressure at this insane rate that Chargers fans have convinced themselves of. Of the 26 quarterbacks with at least 400 dropbacks last season, Herbert had the 12th-highest pressure rate. He was right around the median, and while the Chargers obviously want to decrease that number, Patrick Mahomes just won the Super Bowl with a nearly identical pressure rate.

Plus, a lot of the Chargers' issues with the offensive line last season can be boiled down to bad coaching and poor preparation. The Chargers did not struggle in one-on-one reps as much as they did in recognizing blitz packages and getting help from the tight end room in pass-blocking.

Because of the struggles last season, many fans want to replace Pipkins as they assume his days as a serviceable starter are over. While he certainly was not at his best last season, his play is salvageable and the solid starter from 2022 is still in there.

Pipkins is not going to go out and be a Pro Bowl-caliber tackle or anything of that nature, but he should be a pleasant surprise for all of those who have already counted him out.