Corey Linsley, Rashawn Slater become first Chargers to crack NFL's Top 100

Minnesota Vikings v Los Angeles Chargers
Minnesota Vikings v Los Angeles Chargers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Chargers have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, so they expect to have several players appear on the NFL's Top 100 players list.

With a generational quarterback in Justin Herbert, the Chargers have invested a lot of draft capital and free agent funds into their offensive line in recent years. Fittingly enough, the team's top two OL -- center Corey Linsley and left tackle Rashawn Slater -- became the first players to appear on the countdown, which began Sunday night.

As is always the case, this is a player-voted ranking. Slater was ranked No. 79 by his peers, while Linsley checked in at No. 60 overall.

NFL Network's tribute to both players was awesome. We'll start with Slater, who drew praise from 49ers world-beater Trent Williams, the game's premier left tackle, as well as Texans defensive end Jonathan Greenard.

Chargers offensive linemen Corey Linsley and Rashawn Slater cracked the NFL's Top 100 Players List

Pretty impressive that the NFL already views Slater as a top-100 player after just one season. Of course, Slater entered the league with colossal expectations as the No. 13 overall pick, so it's not overly surprising he's already ascended up the LT ranks.

According to Pro Football Focus, Slater's 3.7% pressure rate tied Jedrick Wills for the lowest allowed by a rookie left tackle since 2010. In total, he allowed just 26 pressures and four sacks over 1,116 snaps and produced a 80.3 pass-blocking grade and 80.2 run-blocking grade from PFF.

The fact Slater was equally dominant in pass protection as he was for the running game is a tell-tale sign he's destined for greatness. It'll be interesting to see where he ranks on next year's Top 100 Players List.

Linsley, meanwhile, is arguably the best center in the game and the Chargers' best offseason signing in recent memory. The 31-year-old made second-team All-Pro honors in 2021, his first with Los Angeles, and played 95% of the snaps.

Linsley's tribute from NFL Network included praise from Eagles center Jason Kelce and teammates Derwin James Jr. and Joey Bosa.

A vital contributor to Herbert's monster Year 2 leap, Linsley was ranked as the NFL's top center for the 2022 season by Pro Football Focus. Linsley's 84.9 pass-blocking grade ranked first at the position, allowing just 10 pressures and zero (!) sacks while committing six penalties over 1,076 snaps.

Just mind-boggling numbers ... and most Chargers fans would argue Linsley deserves to rank higher than No. 60. Unfortunately, the center position isn't viewed in the same breath as left and right tackle and even the guard positions.

Stay tuned, Chargers fans, because Linsley and Slater surely won't be the only Bolts studs to place on the NFL's Top 100.

Next. Corey Linsley heaps big praise on new Chargers defender. dark