The offense was the strength of this team last season as it was amongst the best in the league, and there is no reason to believe they can not take another step forward. Justin Herbert is entering his second year in the new system and has continuity for the first time in his career, even dating back to his time at Oregon.
The wide receiver room remains unchanged after the re-signing of Mike Williams, and we now get to see another year of growth with the Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Josh Palmer trio. Austin Ekeler has a potential partner to split carries with and bring some improvement in the running game, with highly touted rookie Isaiah Spiller coming into the mix as well.
The Chargers were also able to upgrade the tight end position after choosing to move on from Jared Cook with a great value signing in Gerald Everett. Getting younger and more athletic at the position is a great move, he will form a strong duo with Donald Parham.
The main concern for this unit entering the offseason though was the offensive line, and more specifically, the right guard and right tackle position. The Chargers wasted no time in the 2022 NFL Draft and selected OG Zion Johnson 17th overall, a plug-and-play pro-ready guard. The Chargers do also have some positional flexibility in Matt Feiler as a safety net at right tackle, although Tom Telesco did mention post-draft that he would like to keep him at left guard, and sees Zion Johnson as a right guard.
This leaves us with the likely pairing of Slater, Feiler, Linsley, Johnson, and either Norton or Pipkins at right tackle for now. Assuming this is the case, it could leave the door open for another free agent signing to come in and sure up the right side of the line.
There are still a few players available that could be viable options, most notably former Bills OT Daryl Williams. From left tackle to right guard, this is an excellent group of players and the Chargers may have also stolen a gem during round 6 of the draft in Jamaree Salyer.
Salyer played left tackle for the National Championship winning Georgia Bulldogs, he is a battle-proven SEC player that allowed only 1 sack in his collegiate career. Per PFF, he ranked 3rd in pass-blocking efficiency this past season and has played all five positions along the offensive line in the past.
This was a well-liked player coming into the draft, Dane Brugler of The Athletic placed him 7th in his guard rankings, and 54th overall. PFF saw him top as their 66th overall player and 5th in their interior offensive line rankings. The Chargers were able to select him with pick 195. He did fall in part due to medical concerns, but there is no indication it is anything serious.
If the medicals check out in time for the season, it is not far-fetched to think we have the right player to slot in at guard and allow Matt Feiler to play right tackle. Feiler had previously played the position at a high level in Pittsburgh, and this would most definitely complete a very exciting offensive line for the Bolts this season. Fingers crossed.
VERDICT: NOT QUITE COMPLETE, BUT VERY CLOSE.
Not quite complete just yet, but very close. The Chargers' offense looks to be one position away from being complete with the uncertainty at right tackle. Although they do have a potential answer already in-house, we will have to have some patience.
At this point, it seems as though we won’t have more clarity on this until closer to the season, although there is plenty to be excited about. The receiving corps was kept together, in addition to upgrades at guard, tight end, and running back. Overall, the offense now looks to be a more complete unit, and the depth at offensive line can not be understated.