Chargers starters who should play the final preseason game vs Saints

Jason Reed
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Austin Johnson

Another new signing for the LA Chargers, Austin Johnson was brought in to help bolster the run defense after it was one of the worst in the league last season. Johnson was signed alongside Sebastian Joseph-Day to add more punch on the interior defensive line after posting a solid season with the New York Giants in 2021.

SJD is the bigger of the two signings as he is one of the best run-stuffing nose tackles in the entire league. Johnson still adds a lot of value because of his versatility to not only play DE in a 3-4 defense but even play some nose tackle as well.

Of the two new signings, Johnson is more likely to play and it would be nice to see him get a defensive series or two to see not only the kind of impact that he can have on the run game but how the other members of the defensive line fit next to him.

That third interior defensive line spot is still up in the air and it would be interesting to see how Jerry Tillery fits next to Johnson as opposed to Morgan Fox or even someone like Breiden Fehoko.

The Chargers could put Johnson at nose tackle with the other DE options flanking him in order to get a sense of what that looks like. However, the team could also run someone like Otito Ogbonnia at nose tackle with Johnson at DE to see that dynamic as well.

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Regardless, there are a lot of things to potential learn about this defensive line if Johnson is able to get into the game for a series or two.