The LA Chargers are coming off of a huge offseason in which most fans are focusing on the big-name players that the team added to the fold. It is impossible to blame anyone for being excited about the idea of Khali Mack, J.C. Jackson and a brand-new defensive line next season.
While the big-name players are obviously going to have a big-time impact on the team in 2022, the smaller signings that the Chargers made are just as important. In fact, I would argue that it is the late signings that the team made that will end up having a much bigger impact than anyone could have envisioned.
The Chargers entered the 2022 NFL Draft with several holes that had to be addressed and while the front office addressed some of those holes in the draft itself, there were other areas that still needed to be patched up. That is where the post-draft signings came in.
Following the draft, the Chargers agreed to sign Kyle Van Noy, Bryce Callahan and Morgan Fox to the defensive side of the football. This continued a rebirth on that side of the ball from head coach Brandon Staley which was a common thread throughout the offseason. And while these just may have seemed like depth signings, they were each very important for their own specific reason.
The importance of the Chargers' post-draft signings:
Kyle Van Noy adds depth to the Chargers on the edge as he gives the team a versatile player to use in a myriad of spots. On top of being someone who can play on the edge, Van Noy also has experience playing inside and can play some middle linebacker for the team as well.
While he will inevitably get some snaps in the box, Van Noy mostly adds a rotational presence to help Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack. It was extremely important to add this depth after not addressing the position in the 2022 NFL Draft. We have not seen enough for Chris Rumph to be EDGE3 yet and having that veteran presence is huge for the Bolts.
Not only does Van Noy provide depth but he also gives the team an option to play outside if they want to rotate either Joey Bosa or Khalil Mack inside to line up against a guard.
Speaking of the interior defensive line, the team was one player short in building a quality rotation and they added that in Morgan Fox. For lack of a better word, Fox is essentially Jerry Tillery insurance for the Chargers. He is similar to Tillery in that he is better at getting to the passer than he is in stopping the run, which is fine with all of the run-stuffers that the Chargers added.
You could make the case that Fox is better at both getting to the passer and defending the run than Tillery is. There is a world in which Fox plays much more than Tillery does, especially considering Tillery is in the last year of his contract.
Bryce Callahan is coming off of a bad season with the Denver Broncos but adding a veteran depth presence is huge for the Bolts. Not only was the team missing a true slot corner, but the depth behind the top of the cornerback room was really concerning. Tevaughn Campbell was still slated to be the CB4 of the defense before Callahan was signed. That would have been a massive issue.
Callahan has experience playing in this type of defense and while he is getting up there in age, there is nothing wrong with signing a veteran corner to a cheap one-year contract; especially when that veteran corner is being brought in for depth purposes.
Callahan being out there could help keep the Chargers from having an asteroid size hole in the secondary, which is obviously hugely important.