With what could end up being the best offensive line class we have seen in a long while you would think the Chargers would certainly capitalize on this right!?!?! I mean it was a weak spot all season last year. Well if your like me and thought something similar along those lines, well then you were wrong. As it turned out the team didn’t capitalize on it. In fact they didn’t take any lineman of any sort. Could this really be? I mean after the selection of Justin Herbert it was understandable that they would miss out of the top 3 offensive tackles that remained, as Andrew Thomas was selected ahead of the Chargers at 4. Subsequently after the Chargers pick the run on offensive tackles began. Wills to the Browns at 10, Beacton to the Jets at 11, Wirfs at 14 to the Bucs, and surprisingly Jackson went higher than I expected at 18 to the Dolphins. My thought process then switched years to believing the team would select the top tackle on the board at the top of the second.
Then the trade happened. The Chargers traded away the 2nd and 3rd round picks to get back in the first round at pick 23. Surely they traded back in out of fear that the tackle they wanted wouldn’t be available in the second after Jackson went as high as 18. Wrong yet again! Murray was the pick and while I understand it and I can get behind it. I guess i just figured after last year surely they wanted to rebuild the offensive line. They already were off to a great start with the acquisition’s of pro bowl right guard Trai Turner and pro bowl right tackle Bryan Baluga. After that Isaha Wilson went to Tennessee few picks later.
Ultimately that 3rd round pick always provides great depth to roster. However I know Telesco dosnt want typically trade picks like that. So obviously Telesco thinks Murray is gonna be that big star linebacker and who am I to question that. I choose to trust his judgment. I even thought that since Telsco showed to be ballsy by trading back into the first that he may very do the same in the third to get Ezra Cleveland or Lucas Niang. That of course never came to fruition either. The Team then decided to go running back in the 4th passing up on several interior lineman that also could have proven to be useful. Mike Pouncey has still yet to be cleared from his neck injury, not to mention He is very publicly upset with the new CBA between the players union and the leauge. This leads me to believe it won’t be in any rush to get back to playing, if he even can that is. Pair that with the fact that Dan Feeney and Forestt Lamp are in the last years of their rookie contract and I thought for sure if it wasn’t gonna be a tackle they would certainly help out the interior line. I mean after all with Tyrod at the helm and head coach Anthony Lynn’s run first mentality surely they would do this to help out the run game. Yet again I was wrong.
It got me thinking. Was it just the way the draft board played out? Was Andrew Thomas the selection if he was available at 6? Had the teams new new offensive line coach that was hired this offseason, James Campen, told them he likes what he already has to work with? The team did spend a 3rd round pick on Pipkins just last year so they wouldn’t give up on him so soon anyways. Forest Lamp is entering his fourth year and dispite high expectations after being drafted in the 2nd round has suffered from poor health and coaching management alike. Perhaps Lamp will finally get a long overdue shot at the left tackle position. Perhaps Campen thinks simply that Pipkins issues are strictly with technique. After all I myself have been harping on and on about how he plays to high rather than low in his stance. Think back to how Frank Clark beat Pipkins for 3 sacks in one game by simply ducking under Pipkins arms for prof of that.
Either way if this is the case the team is still putting an awful lot of risk into ‘If’s & maybe’. Even if Lamp does get a shot at Left tackles and excells, does he really want to stay with a team that has possibly screwed with his development by mishandling him? He did ask for a trade in his second year after they wouldn’t use him despite being medically clear from his ACL that took away his rookie season. If Feeney has to play center due to Pouncey not returning who then slides over to left guard? Trent Scott? An undrafted free agent?
All in all it is possible that the new offensive line coach Campen can turn this line around and quickly. He does have a great track record in Green Bay. 9 out of the 11 seasons he was there in Green Bay the team was a top 10 statistical line. Including three seasons of being in the top 4. It is also possible that one of the undrafted free agents hit big. After all the team does have a long rich history of finding gems with their undrafted free agents. I just hope the team has a plan of attack in mind when it comes to the left side of the offensive line. I say this out of fear tbat they are way to comfortable with what they already have on the roster. There are simply to many factors that need to fall into place in order to be complacent with what they already have.