The LA Chargers are looking for big things in the 2023 NFL Draft. Los Angeles is looking to build on the successes of the 2022 season and one way to do that is by having a solid draft class that can have an instant impact.
That has not always been the case in Los Angeles. While there have been a lot of great picks made by Tom Telesco, the 2022 draft class was a bit of a disappointment. It was not without its standouts but it also did not have much of an impact on the 2022 season.
With the 2023 NFL Draft right around the corner, we thought it would be fitting to grade the 2022 draft class one year later. It also goes without saying: these grades are absolutely subject to change as these players continue their Chargers careers.
Grading the Chargers 2022 draft class one year later:
Zion Johnson, pick 17: C
Zion Johnson had an up-and-down rookie season, which should be expected for a rookie offensive lineman. Not everyone can come into the NFL and instantly play at an elite level like Rashawn Slater did in his rookie season.
Johnson showed a lot of things to be excited about in his rookie season. There were several games in which his pass-blocking was on display and he proved to be a solid run-blocker next to Trey Pipkins when everything was working.
However, he also had the rookie hiccups of having several games where he struggled. That is going to happen for a rookie guard and overall, Johnson's rookie season was not that strange compared to other rookie offensive linemen that we see.
Now the hope is that Johnson builds on that and continues to develop and get better in the NFL. That will ultimately decide what his ceiling is and what kind of long-term grade this pick receives.