5. Trey Pipkins
I know that this is not the popular option and it certainly is not one that I want to see happen for the LA Chargers in 2022. However, I cannot ignore the possibility of this happening and Trey Pipkins finally getting the starting nod that he was meant to get in 2020.
There were some actual expectations for Pipkins heading into the 2020 season. The team drafted Pipkins as a developmental tackle in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft and after a year in the league, it appeared that Pipkins was ready to make a difference.
Pipkins did not get many chances and the chances that he did get he was awful in. His stock reached an all-time low and when he had to start two games for the Bolts in 2021 there was legitimate concern. However, Pipkins didn't play too poorly.
Pipkins played a total of 173 offensive snaps, 82 of which were pass-blocking snaps. In those 82 snaps, he allowed three pressures, with no sacks nor quarterback hits for that matter. All of those pressures came at left tackle in place of Rashawn Slater against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15.
In Week he started at right tackle and played really well. He played 77 snaps (34 run-blocking and 33 pass-blocking) and did not allow a single pressure all game while doing quite well in run-blocking as well.
The Chargers had one of the best offensive line coaches in the league in Frank Smith, who was hired to be the Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator this offseason. Smith very well could have gotten his hands on Pipkins and turned him into the tackle that we thought he would be.
The coaching staff and front office know what level Pipkins is at more than anyone in the media. If they think he is far enough along, they could just make a really cheap signing for depth (or make another mid-round selection) with the intent of starting Pipkins at right tackle.