Perhaps the biggest roster question surrounding the LA Chargers as the team heads into the 2022 season is who will get the starting nod at right tackle. Many are questioning the team's decision-making process at the right tackle position with the two options being Storm Norton and Trey Pipkins.
Norton is coming off of a horrendous showing in Week 18 against the Las Vegas Raiders last season, leaving many fans to believe that Pipkins would be the starter for the team. While nothing is yet etched in stone, it does appear as if Pipkins is on the road to starting in Week 1.
Chargers tight end Tre' McKitty recently posted some shots from Chargers minicamp on Instagram. Tyler Schoon of the Guilty as Charged Podcast was quick to point out that Pipkins was in the photo of the first-team offense as it was huddled up, perhaps signaling his lead in the right tackle battle.
The logic checks out as the rest of the photo is mostly the first-team offense. Also in the photo is Justin Herbert, Joshua Kelley, Joshua Palmer, McKitty, Rashawn Slater, Matt Feiler, Corey Linsley and Zion Johnson. There are two more players who are ducked behind Palmer in the photo that are hard to make out. Regardless, the entire first-team offensive line is in this photo... with Pipkins.
Chargers fans should not panic over Trey Pipkins starting in 2022
Trey Pipkins was not great in his first two seasons with the team and that understandably has made Chargers fans worried about the idea of him starting at right tackle. However, Pipkins was taken in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft with the entire idea of him being a developmental tackle. Perhaps his NFL development just took longer than expected.
The Chargers obviously feel good enough about Pipkins to not bring in a single new competitor at the right tackle position. They also seem to feel especially good about him considering all signs are pointing to Matt Feiler staying at guard and not moving to tackle.
Pipkins did not allow a single pressure in the one game that he started at right tackle last season. Granted, it was against a bad Denver Broncos team but good film is good film and Pipkins put together a really solid game for the Chargers.
At the end of the day, it is unlikely that Pipkins is going to be any worse than Norton was last season and the Chargers were still very successful as an offense. With a massive improvement next to him at right guard, the Chargers can give Pipkins a ton of help in blocking schemes if they have to.
What Norton did last season is the floor for Pipkins and even if he is below-average, he likely won't be a complete liability for the team. With the ability to help him on the right side, having that be the absolute worst part of the offensive line is not a bad outlook in the slightest.