The LA Chargers have had one of the most exciting offseasons of any team in the NFL. With an extremely strong foundation already in place with Justin Herbert and the other star power on the team, the Bolts have pulled all the right strings to make the team better in 2022.
The Chargers have re-signed Mike Williams, have completely reinvented the defensive line with Khalil Mack, Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson and added another blue-chipper to the defense in J.C. Jackson. Gerald Everett replaced Jared Cook and the Bolts made some special teams additions as well. With cap space to still spend and the 2022 NFL Draft, the Chargers are not finished yet.
There is a lot of excitement in the air around the Chargers. Many fans believe that the Chargers should be the favorites to win the loaded AFC West, meaning that the Bolts would be a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
Fans of other teams would call that homer bias, but in reality, the Chargers already boast one of the most talented rosters in the league. ESPN's Mike Clay updated his unit grades for every team and the Chargers rank higher than they have in quite a while, coming in fifth.
Takeaways from the LA Chargers having the fifth-most talented roster:
1. The LA Chargers are the highest ranking team in the AFC West
Yes, the AFC West is loaded but on paper, the Chargers are the best team. Of course, every team still has to go out and play the games every week, but if the chalk holds then the Chargers should win the division.
This goes hand-in-hand with our AFC West power rankings from a few days ago, although we ranked the Chiefs lower than Clay's unit grades do. The Chargers rank fifth with a 2.8 score (4.0 being the absolute highest). Kansas City ranks seventh with a 2.6 score, Denver ranks 12th with a 2.4 score and Las Vegas ranks 15th with a 2.3 score.
2. The LA Chargers have the third-ranked offense in the league
According to Mike Clay, the Chargers have the third-most talented offense in the league and quite frankly, that might still be too low. The only teams that rank above the Chargers are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs.
However, the Chargers have a 3.4 grade at quarterback, giving them the seventh-best quarterback grade. If Justin Herbert is as good as we think he will be next season, which is a bonafide top-three quarterback, then the offense will be the top in the league.
3. The LA Chargers rank eighth in overall defense
The Chargers were one of the worst defensive teams in the league last season so seeing them rank eighth in these unit projections is huge for the team. The Bolts rank eighth despite Clay giving them a 0.4 grade for the defensive line, which is one of the worst among the top teams.
While on paper the Chargers' interior defensive line may not look that special, the Bolts addressed what they needed by getting run stuffers. In Brandon Staley's defense, with Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack on the outside, that is all the Bolts really needed.
I do not disagree with the low ranking in terms of overall talent, but because of the fit, they will play much higher than a 0.4 grade.