The 2021 season is right around the corner with the LA Chargers playing their first preseason game of the year this Saturday against the Los Angeles Rams.
To preview the upcoming season, we have been ranking the Chargers position-by-position alongside their AFC West counterparts. For the most part, the Chargers have ranked fairly well and we do not have many positions left to address.
Defensively, we only have the interior defensive line and the edge rushers left to rank. After that, we rank the special teams and then we are done.
We wanted to make sure that we made the distinction between the interior defensive linemen and the edge rushers. For LA, a change to a 3-4 defense means they will have a defensive tackle and two defensive ends on the inside. For teams running a 4-3 defense it is just two defensive tackles.
Ranking the AFC West interior defensive linemen:
4. Las Vegas Raiders
The Las Vegas Raiders run a 4-3 defense and slated to start at defensive tackle for the Raiders is Johnathan Hankins and Quinton Jefferson. While it could certainly be worse than this, this duo also is not all that excited, either.
The fact of the matter is that no interior defensive linemen really jump off the page in the AFC West and they are all pretty close in the middle of the road. The Raiders are the worst of the bunch but I would not say that they are miles behind any other team.
Hankins is a serviceable starter who certainly can provide quality snaps and be relied upon. He is not going to wow you, but you know exactly what you are going to get out of him.
The same can be said for Jefferson, albeit in a much smaller capacity. Jefferson only started four games for the Buffalo Bills last season and while he is not awful, he is not that great, either.
The Las Vegas Raiders simply have mediocre starters on the interior of their defensive line.