2. LT Rashawn Slater
In Slater, the Chargers seem to have struck gold again in acquiring a potential franchise left tackle. An All-Pro second-team selection and Pro Bowler in his rookie year, Slater seems to be the real deal when it comes to squashing opposing rushers on the edge. In his first season in the NFL, Slater showed many why he was graded as a first-round talent and potentially one of the best picks in the draft.
Although he was called for six penalties last season, he did play in an astonishing 1,116 snaps and only missed one game. An athletic and physical talent, Slater is the prototype for what NFL scouts want in a premier left tackle.
Now with Slater already showing he can operate at a high level, even as a rookie, many are salivating at the thought of what he can do in year two. If he does indeed take another step, then the Chargers have the two main pieces a premier offense can hope for: franchise left tackle and an elite quarterback. Also thanks to his Northwestern background, Slater is another highly intelligent talent who should flourish in his second season under offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi.
1. QB Justin Herbert
Much ink has been spilled (or rather typed) about the prowess of Herbert at quarterback and also his importance to the offense, but it cannot be overstated. The Oregon product is one of the most dynamic players in the league at a young age, but still has not made a postseason run. In a crowded AFC West, he will again have to rise to the occasion against other Pro Bowl quarterbacks in the division on an almost-weekly basis.
What’s fascinating about Herbert though, other than the multiple articles pointing out his strengths and stats, is that he seems to have such a cool command of the offense. Even in dire situations, he finds a way to compose himself and his teammates, just like he did in his rookie debut in 2019.
Having a young, stellar quarterback like Herbert on a rookie contract is like playing with the star in Super Mario. You only have a limited amount of time to inflict as much damage or progress as possible even if the future is unknown.
In Herbert, the Chargers have potentially one of the most enticing young quarterbacks in the league given his physical prowess, cerebral tenacity, and of course, his cannon of an arm. Luckily for the quarterback though, his offense will have plenty of stars next season to share the spotlight with.