PFF's bounce-back candidate choice for Chargers is good news for Justin Herbert

Baltimore Ravens v Los Angeles Chargers
Baltimore Ravens v Los Angeles Chargers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

The Chargers have faced a lot of changes this offseason, with a much-needed coaching switch-up being one of the most noteworthy.

As significant as that is on its own, the number of offensive players who were let go in free agency was also newsworthy, especially for Justin Herbert, who lost nearly all his most trusted weapons since joining the league in 2020.

The departures of Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, and Mike Williams will undoubtedly take a hit on the quarterback's production, which is certainly not a favorable position to be in after all that he's dealt with throughout his career. But there might be some good news to take from it all, at least according to Pro Football Focus.

PFF's bounce-back candidate choice for Chargers is good news for Justin Herbert

Much like the experts at PFF do every offseason, they published a piece revealing their picks for bounce-back candidates for every team during the 2024 season. Because of all the roster changes made to the Chargers this offseason, their pick is not a player who was on the team a year ago.

However, if they are correct in their prediction, Herbert will benefit the most from it.

For the Chargers, PFF chose newly acquired running back J.K. Dobbins, the former Ravens player who signed a one-year contract with LA last month. He was selected as their bounce-back candidate due to his recent injury history, which plagued his young career and forced him to miss nearly two seasons over the last four years.

"Dobbins was great in his two healthy seasons with the Ravens, earning rushing grades of at least 75.6 and averaging over 3.00 yards after contact per carry. However, he tore his Achilles just 12 snaps into last year and tore his ACL before even lacing up his cleats in a game in 2021.

Jim Harbaugh’s philosophy in Ann Arbor was to run the damn ball, and with the Chargers’ receiving room still lacking any proven alpha presences, that should continue in Los Angeles. Dobbins might split carries initially with his former Baltimore teammate Gus Edwards, but his better explosiveness could lend itself to a strong year for the 25-year-old in a new home."

If all is good with his Achilles injury, which seems to be the case given the timing of the injury, there's reason to believe he will be good as new come Week 1.

As PFF stated, though, he will be competing with Gus Edwards to become the team's lead running back, which might not be as easy as anticipated given his explosion for the Ravens in his absence last year.

It will be an entertaining position battle throughout the summer and certainly one to pay attention to, especially to see Dobbins' performance returning from injury. Hopefully, PFF is right in their projection, and the Chargers will have lucked out in finding a solid replacement for Ekeler and another weapon for Herbert to work with.

More Chargers news and analysis