The recent additions of superstars Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson have created a buzz not only in Los Angeles but in the entire NFL. The spending spree that the Chargers went on this offseason shows that they are poised and ready to make a splash this season.
Khalil Mack could be the piece that this defensive line needs to be complete. Joey Bosa being on the opposite side has the potential to create one of the better defensive line units in the league. After leading the league in strip sacks last season, Bosa has shown that he is thriving in Staley's new defensive scheme. The entrance of Mack into this defense, especially with his history with Staley in Chicago, could make the defensive line one of the most dangerous lines in the NFL.
J.C. Jackson, just like Khalil Mack, is the piece that the secondary needed to be more complete. The combination of Jackson and Derwin James, much like Mack and Bosa, along with the young core of Asante Samuel Jr. and Michael Davis, along with potentially drafting a corner in this year’s draft, has the potential to be one of the top secondaries not just in the AFC, but in the entire NFL.
How the Chargers defense improves with the additions of Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson:
This defensive unit will be improved in almost every part of the field. Khalil Mack joining Joey Bosa on the defensive line will remove a lot of the double teams that Bosa had to deal with all season. Even with the double teams, Bosa still led the league in strip-sacks. Having Khalil Mack on the other side of Bosa will cause offensive lines to choose which to focus on more, and having to live with the other consistently getting pressure on the quarterback.
Not only that, but the defensive line will assist the secondary. The aggressiveness of the Bosa, Mack, and the rest of the defensive line will cause most quarterbacks to release the ball within four seconds. Only letting receivers have three to four seconds to get separation from cornerbacks will allow the secondary to have many opportunities to create takeaways.
Since the departure of Casey Hayward, the Chargers have not had a number one cornerback. J.C. Jackson being one of the top corners in the league is going to help this defense a lot, especially with the new look AFC West. Davante Adams being dealt to the Raiders is going to create an exciting matchup between Adams and Jackson at least twice a year.
The leadership of J.C. Jackson along with Derwin James can help the younger players in the secondary (more specifically second-year cornerback Asante Samuel Jr.) develop into a very impressive cornerback room.
Not just his leadership, but having a guy like Jackson that you can rely on to guard any team's number one receiver is vital to making a run in the postseason. That was shown with Jalen Ramsey and the Rams during their Super Bowl run.
Brandon Staley has formed the defense that he knows can compare to his number one defense that he had with the Rams in 2020, and these two additions should make this defense shine in all areas of the field.