The LA Chargers have made major moves during the offseason, filling all sorts of roster holes with good to elite players. However, one of their largest weaknesses - the right side of the offensive line - has gone unaddressed.
Last season, the Los Angeles Chargers offense ranked top-five in both yards per game and points per game.
Despite this strength, the offense was frequently unable to overcome the losses suffered by the defense and special teams units.
Although that was mostly not due to problems with the offense, it became quite clear throughout the year that the right side of the offensive line was holding the offense back and killing drives. That was never more apparent than during Week 18 of the 2021 season, when the Las Vegas Raiders knew that Maxx Crosby would have no chance against Rashawn Slater, so they lined him up against Storm Norton and let him eat.
While the right guard spot was also a problem after an injury to Oday Aboushi, it seems highly likely that Aboushi will be brought back in 2021. If not, Brenden Jaimes looks like a fine replacement at the position
With that given, the LA Chargers offense entered the offseason with one glaring weakness - right tackle.
To this point, the Chargers have focused on solving the issues on the defense, while also retaining Mike Williams and adding Gerald Everett. They have completely neglected the most significant weakness at right tackle.
At this point, options to solve the position appear limited. So, the Chargers will need to be smart with their options left at this point of the offseason to solve the offensive line.
With that, here is a ranking of the top options available left for the Chargers to solve right tackle before the 2022 season begins.
5. Let Trey Pipkins and Storm Norton Compete to Start
The easiest option to solve the right tackle position is to stick with the players on the roster - Trey Pipkins and Storm Norton.
Storm Norton spent most of the season as the primary starter after the injury to Bryan Bulaga. By all accounts, it was quite a mixed bag for Norton.
With every step forward, it seemed like there were two steps back for Norton. After a somewhat respectable performance against Washington Football Team, Norton was absolutely shredded by Micah Parsons in his first game playing on the edge. After a respectable performance against the Denver Broncos, his play was the downfall of the team against Maxx Crosby.
Rolling with Storm Norton sounds like a disaster in the making. Of course, growth is also possible, as we have seen some good from Norton through the season.
Also, there is Trey Pipkins - the oft-maligned former third round pick.
Despite his poor previous performances, it appeared that Trey Pipkins may have been ready to turn a corner in 2021. With the help of James Campen, Pipkins had an admirable showing in place of Rashawn Slater in Week 15 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
While Pipkins had some acceptable performances in 2021, it would be irrational to expect Pipkins to keep that acceptable performance over the course of 17 games.
To let Pipkins and Norton to fight it out for the right tackle job in 2022 would be to accept the same inconsistent play at right tackle that Storm Norton provided in 2021. Those drive-killing plays against good edge rushers could doom the Chargers' 2022 season.