What to do about the defensive line
Now unlike most fans I have never been a big fan off making mid season additions through either trade or free agency. Every time a big name player becomes availible the vast majority of fan want to swoop him up. Even when it dosnt make a lot of sense. We actually saw this just this last week when Jaylon Smith and Stephon Gilmore became availible. While typically im only for this type of activity when it clearly makes sense. Well it just so happen we find ourselves in a position just like that. With a 4-1 record and first place in the division the Chargers are clearly legitamet contenders. So why not address what is clearly your biggest weak spot so that you can try to make a real push this season? When I said biggest weak spot I bet you already knew what I was reffering too…the run defense.
More specifically the team needs help stopping the run up from on the interior defensive line. The team has been missing Justin Jones the last few weeks, and boy do they miss him. While the return of Jones will help significantly, more help will be needed. Lets address how the team can do this. Finding a way to bring in a run stopping specialist could help regulate Jerry Tillery to pass rush situations and allow Staley to mix and match situational personnel more effectivley.
Trade for Maliek Collins
Collins has been quietly having a nice year. It has gone relatively unnoticed because of the fact he is on the Houston Texans. Houston is in a position where they would be willing to part with a player who is on the last year of his contract. Also lets be honest, Houston has no shot at any relativity. They also happen to be hurting for draft picks and would likely be willing to flip him for a 6th if not a 7th. Collins is currently on a 5 million dollar contract, part of which has already been paid. He currently has a 71.1 overall defensive grade with a 69.8 run defense grade and a 73.2 pass rush grade. He grades out higher in all three categories than any interior defensive lineman currently on the Chargers roster. This move makes almost too much sense. Especially considering he plays the 3 tech.
Sign Geno atkins
Atkins is a former 2x first team all pro and on time second team all pro. He is also currently a free agent. At the age of 33 he is past his prime of say the least. However, I’m willing to bet that even past his prime he is still better than a peak Jerry Tillery and Forrest Merrill. Atkins only played very briefly last year due to injury. Yet it is easy to envision Atkins coming in and becoming one of our best lineman once he got into proper game shape. While he may have struggled with injuries last season, it was as recent as 2019 where he was putting up great defensive grades. More specifically against the run. The long time Cincinnati Bengal put up a 76.2 defensive grade with a 71.0 run defensive grade and a 74.4 pass rush grade on 814 total snaps.
There are also a numerous other trade candidates on the last year of their contracts. These other players present similar situation as Collins in the fact that the teams they happen to be on will not be relevant and could use the draft picks. Unlike Collins however, they are not necessarily thriving in the current situation they are in. Players such as Taven Bryan in Jacksonville, Nick Williams in Detroit, Vincent Taylor in Houston, and Danny Shelton in New York. While these players mentioned are not having good years per say but are all candidates who could possibly thrive under Brandon Staley. This group however is more of a hope and pray type scenarios. The other two would be a dream scenario.