Los Angeles Chargers Off-season/Draft Recap and Outlook
Justin Herbert

San Diego Chargers Off-Season

The Chargers season wasn’t the greatest as they finished the season 7-9.  However they should be extremely optimistic about their future with QB Justin Herbert at the helm.  He was the AFC Rookie of the Year.  He showed early on why he’s gonna be a great QB for years to come.  However, outside of Keenan Allen the Chargers don’t have many other offensive weapons which they are gonna need to compete in the tough AFC West.  Austin Ekeler has proven that he is a talented RB but his biggest problem is staying healthy.  They added TE Jared Cook which will help Herbert giving him another dependable receiver to throw to.  They also added G/T Matt Feiler and exercised S Derwin James fifth year option which was an extremely necessary move to keep their secondary strong.  The Chargers have a promising further ahead of them but needed to fill in some gaps on the offensive line, receivers for Herbert and in their secondary and line backing core.  Let’s see how they fared in filling those spots.

San Diego Chargers Draft Recap

Round One: Pick 13 Rashawn Slater (OT, Northwestern)

With their first pick the Chargers went to the O-Line taking what many scouts said was the best OT in this years draft in Rashawn Slater.  He’s a monster of a man at 6 ft 4 in and 304 pounds, his blocking skills are elite and is definitely an NFL ready player.  He moves fast and has great hand technique.  Lots of people are saying this was a steal as the Chargers were heavily on need for a LT to block for Justin Hebert.  Herbert was pressured 217 last season which is the most for a rookie QB since 2009. Slater primary position is left tackle but can easily be moved to right tackle if needed.  His versatility will come in handy for the Chargers if they have injuries during the season.  Slater is Northwestern’s first player to be drafted in the first round since 2005. He is also the first offensive lineman taken in the first round by the Chargers since 2013.  The Chargers know that Herbert is their future and made sure to grab protection for him and did a great job in drafting Slater.

Round Two: Pick 47 Asante Samuel Jr. (CB, Florida State)

  With their second pick they went on the defensive side grabbing CB Asante Samuel Jr..  This was a much needed position to fill for the Chargers as they are sorely lacking depth in the Cornerback position.  His father is Asante Samuel who was a four time pro bowler who played for the Falcons, Eagles and Patriots.  Samuel Jr grew up watching his dad play football and obviously learned a lot from him following in his footsteps.  He’s extremely quick and has a good set of hands grabbing four interceptions in his college career and added 14 pass breakups as well.  He was Third Team All ACC in 2019.  He should be inserted right in to the Chargers starting 11 and will be looked at to make an immediate impact for the Chargers.

Round Three: Pick 77: Josh Palmer (WR, Tennessee)

   With their third pick in the draft they added another player to aid Herbert by grabbing WR Josh Palmer.  The Chargers needed a playmaker and it looks like they may have found one in Palmer.  He is a big target at 6 ft 1 in and 210 pounds, he had 99 receptions for 1,514 yards and seven Touchdowns in his four year career at Tennessee.  Those numbers could have been much better if he didn’t have to deal with inconsistent QB play during his tenure at Tennessee.  His best season was his Senior year, he had 33 receptions for 475 yards and 4 touchdowns.  One of his biggest strengths is his body control which will come in handy when making those tough sideline catches.  I definitely see Palmer making a big impact in his rookie year as Herbert desperately needed receivers to throw to. 

Round Three: Pick 97: Tre’ McKitty (TE, Georgia)

  With their second pick in the third round they went right back to helping Herbert grabbing TE McKitty.  This guy is HUGE!  He’s 6 ft 5 in and weighs 245 pounds which is quite large for tight end.  In his final season for Georgia he had six receptions for 108 yards and one touchdown.  In his first three seasons in college he played at Florida State and had 50 receptions for 520 yards and two touchdowns.  He’s a big target with is just what Herbert needs.  And with free agent acquisition Jared Cook being 34 years old they were in desperate need for a young TE.  McKitty will definitely see some playing time in his rookie season and will be looked at to make a positive impact in that offense.

Round Four: Pick 118: Chris Rumph II (OLB, Duke)

  In the fourth round the Chargers went back to defense grabbing a linebacker in Rumph II.  He was All-ACC and played 36 games in his collegiate career collecting 125 tackles, 34 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks in his three seasons.  He’ll play alongside pro bowler Joey Bosa and with these two on the pass rush they will be a force to be reckoned with.  His dad is Chris Rumph who is currently the Chicago Bears defensive line coach so to say he learned a lot from his father would be an understatement.  Look for Rumph to fit in nicely in the Chargers linebacker core.

Round Five: Pick 159: Brenden Jaimes (OT, Nebraska)

  With their fifth round pick the Chargers went back to the offensive line picking up OT Brenden Jaimes.  He was an consistent player making 40 straight starts for Nebraska which was a school record.  He was an honorable mention for All-Big Ten for three straight years and also helped Nebraska have the second best rushing team in the Big Ten in 2020.  They grabbed a LT in the first round as well but it can never hurt to have a dependable backup who has never had any injury issues.  Nice pickup for the Chargers grabbing James.

Round Six: Pick 185: Nick Niemann (LB, Iowa)

   In the sixth round the Chargers grabbed another linebacker in Nick Niemann.  He’s a big boy at 6 ft 5 in and 234 pounds.  He was a decent pass rusher in Iowa but didn’t have a huge impact as one would think from a draft pick.  Football runs in his blood though as his brother is Ben Niemann who is currently on the Kansas City Chiefs and is father of the assistant defense coach at Iowa.  He probably won’t see the field much early on but if he proves himself he could be a formidable back up and could see some time on the Special Teams unit. 

Round Six: Pick 198: Larry Roundtree III (RB, Missouri)

   With their second pick in the sixth round the Chargers decided to grab a Running Back in Roundtree.  In his four years at Missouri he had 3,720 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns.  He is 5 ft 10 in and 211 pounds, he’s a patient runner who is always moving his feet, he is great at utilizing his blockers and has superb vision.  I could definitely see him being a great situational back and a solid backup for Ekeler.

Round Seven: Pick 241: Mark Webb (DB, Georgia)

   With their last pick they went to the secondary grabbing Webb.  The Chargers definitely didn’t need to improve their secondary much but it never hurts having extra cornerbacks.  He is a speedy player and is a bigger body at 6 ft 2 in and 207 pounds.  He can definitely find some playing team on special teams for the Chargers. 

San Diego Chargers Draft Grade

     The Chargers did a great job at picking up players to help protect Herbert as well as giving himA few weapons he can throw to.  One of their biggest issues last season was WR production and it looks like they might have fixed that problem with the picks they made.  They also grabbed a couple players to help the defense and added a great player to play alongside Bosa.  Overall I think the Chargers did a great job this year at the draft picking players they needed on the offensive line and key offensive positions. 

Draft Grade: B+


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