The one constant issue for the LA Chargers throughout the late 2000s and the entire 2010s was the offensive line. Philip Rivers constantly had to deal with one of the worst offensive lines in the league in front of him and Justin Herbert got a taste of that reality in his rookie season in 2020.
However, seeing Herbert have a record-setting rookie season finally struck some sense into the Chargers, who have since committed a lot of resources into building the offensive line. Rashawn Slater thankfully fell to 13 and the Bolts got a future First-Team All-Pro to anchor the left side. Tom Telesco made Corey Linsley the highest-paid center in league history. Matt Feiler was a sneaky-good signing. For the second year in a row, the team drafted an offensive lineman in round one.
The only question mark around the offensive line heading into the 2022 season is right tackle. Trey Pipkins seems to be the favorite to start at RT but it could also be Storm Norton as well as Feiler if the team wants to kick him outside and start someone else at left guard.
Despite that question mark at right tackle, the LA Chargers still have a really good thing going for them. In fact, Pro Football Focus, which has consistently (and rightfully) ranked the Chargers' O-line among the worst in the league in previous years, gave the Chargers the 12th-best offensive line in the sport. The Bolts fall in the second tier of offensive lines, labeled "high floor".
The Chargers' offensive line has a high floor but what is the ceiling?
We agree with PFF that the Chargers have a high floor when it comes to the offensive line and that is such a wonderful thing to think about. The line is obviously not bulletproof but the starting group is so talented and the depth behind them is actually, for once, not super concerning.
The ceiling of this offensive line is even more exciting. A potential ceiling would involve the team having fantastic injury luck and not seeing any of the starters really miss any time. Injuries are inevitable in the NFL so if the Chargers can get each starter to start 15 games that would be a huge win.
As far as performance goes, several players on the Chargers' O-line will likely play to their ceiling next season. Rashawn Slater and Corey Linsley are both All-Pros at their best and it seems like a lock that one of them will play at that level. Matt Feiler and Zion Johnson are both Pro Bowlers at their best and it might be a lock that one of those two gets that nod as well.
Saying the Chargers will have two All-Pros and two additional Pro Bowlers might be too unrealistic but there is definitely a world in which the Chargers have three Pro Bowlers on the offensive line next season with two of those three being first or Second-Team All-Pros.
If Trey Pipkins can just live up to his potential from 2019 and be an average starting right tackle then the Chargers won't have a single weakness on the offensive line. Two elite players, two above-average players and one average player is a fantastic outlook for the Bolts.
And if that ends up being the reality in 2022 then Justin Herbert will be throwing behind a top-five offensive line in football.