The outcome of the Chargers' second preseason game of the year did not go the team's way. The Bolts fell to the New Orleans Saints to move to 1-1 in the preseason. But as we all know, preseason outcomes do not matter and this game was indicative of that.
Despite the outcome not going the Chargers' way, there were still a lot of positives to take away from this game. Not everyone on the team played great but there were some standouts that certainly improved their stock ahead of the regular season.
Chargers winner: Tuli Tuipulotu
The Chargers drafted Tuli Tuipulotu in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. The reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year enters the league at only 20 years old but is already showing off the strength and finesse that got the Chargers to fall in love with him.
Tuipulotu did not play much in this game against the Saints but when he did he was certainly noticeable. The former USC Trojan had one of the most impressive series in the game when he pressured quarterback Jameis Winston and then instantly parlayed that into a massive tackle for loss.
Tuipulotu is not going to start for the Bolts in 2023 but he could still have a big impact on the team nonetheless. Having Tuipulotu as the third edge rusher on the roster gives the Chargers a lot of flexibility both in keeping Khalil Mack fresh and in giving offenses different looks.
Tuipulotu is also being bred to take over for Mack, likely after the 2023 season. The young edge rusher is already showing a lot of promising signs so early into his NFL career. Just imagine after an entire year of learning behind Mack and Joey Bosa.