Chargers avoided disaster as potential 2022 draft target tanks in debut

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Chargers selected guard Zion Johnson with the 17th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. While Johnson has had his lumps as a rookie offensive lineman, his overall performance has been very promising as it looks like the Bolts made a sound pick.

There were several directions the team could have went with that pick as well. Before the draft, many fans were begging for the Bolts to take a wide receiver. But with none of the elite receivers on the board at 17, that was not an option for the team.

In reality, there were three potential prospects the Chargers could have drafted at 17. Along with Johnson, both cornerback Trent McDuffie and offensive tackle Trevor Penning were considered as potential targets. Penning was someone who Chargers fans were not thrilled about and it has already become clear that the fans were right.

The Chargers dodged a massive bullet in the form of Trevor Penning.

Trevor Penning finally made his NFL debut in Week 12 for the New Orleans Saints and to say he was disappointing would be an understatement. Penning did not play many snaps but when he did it was very obvious that he was on the field for all the wrong reasons.

Penning looked like a junior varsity player trying to play with the varsity team. He was ripped apart every time he stepped on the field and even committed a horrible facemask penalty that negated what would have been a 40-yard gain on a defensive pass interference for the Saints. Ouch.

Making matters worse for the Saints is that they traded a future first-round pick for Penning and that pick is currently in the top 10. This, of course, has led to NFL fans roasting New Orleans on social media.

Meanwhile, the Chargers believed in Trey Pipkins to be the starting right tackle this season and he has exceeded expectations. Fans were not excited about the prospect of Pipkins starting for the team in 2022 and he has proved all of the doubters wrong.

Heck, the Chargers even landed a solid tackle much later in the draft in Jamaree Salyer and he was not even drafted to be a tackle! All in all, avoiding Trevor Penning was the best thing the Bolts could have done in the 2022 NFL Draft.

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It is still very early in Penning's career but with this horrendous start, and his tendency to start fights in training camp, we can definitely say that Chargers fans will never lose any sleep over not drafting Penning.