The LA Chargers have four games under their belt as they are unofficially about a quarter of the way through the season. While the 17-game schedule muddies that a bit, this is still the point of the season where we have enough of a sample size to truly evaluate teams.
That means that we have a big enough sample size to evaluate players, particularly the rookies who are playing in the league for the first time. Of course, most of these rookies are only going to get better with time as well, but starting their career off strong with a solid first four weeks is huge for their overall development.
The Chargers have a very interesting rookie draft class this year that has created quite the polarizing report card to send home. There is plenty more time for these grades to go up or down but this is still a good progress report for said rookies.
LA Chargers rookie report card through four weeks:
Zion Johnson: B
Zion Johnson was viewed as being the best guard in the 2022 NFL Draft class and thus far he has played like the best rookie guard in the league. Johnson has filled a big hole at the right guard position for the Chargers and amid a slew of offensive line injuries, has played quite well.
It has not been perfect for the rookie right guard and we should not expect it to be, either. Johnson, along with the rest of the offensive line, had a tough six-quarter stretch between the second half of Week 2 and all of Week 3. Playing without Trey Pipkins in the second half of Week 2 hurt and not having Corey Linsley in that stretch really hurt.
Since it is a small sample size, those six quarters do weigh down his overall numbers to a point where it does not look that impressive. However, outside of that rough patch, Johnson has more than held his own as a valuable pass and run blocker at the NFL level.
He might not be Rashawn Slater as a rookie, but Johnson is showing all of the foundations of being the team's starting right guard for years to come.