The offensive line has been a problem for the Chargers for some time. The last time they had an average to solid line was in 2018, but even that one had holes. The new Chargers coaching staff led by Brandon Staley has shown since the start of free agency that their number one goal was to fix the offensive line.
They signed three new offensive linemen headlined by all-pro center Corey Linsley from the Green Bay Packers. They knew they needed to upgrade the line to give quarterback Justin Herbert more time to throw the ball and open up the run game. This offensive line…if healthy… it should be a considerable upgrade from last year.
Lock: Rashawn Slater, Matt Feiler, Corey Linsley, Oday Aboushi, Bryan Bulaga, Trey Pipkins, Scott Quessenberry, Brenden Jaimes
On the bubble: Nate Gilliam, Darius Harper, Storm Norton, Kyle Spalding, Tyree St. Louis, Ryan Hunter
Making it: Most of the players making the team are the projected starting five who will hit the field in Washington week one. Brenden Jaimes was the team's fifth-round draft pick this year, so he will make the team. Quessenberry has been with the team for three seasons and has been a solid backup, so unless someone comes in shining, expect him to make it. Two questions remain can Trey Pipkins make the roster? Well, he was drafted in the third round as a developmental player in 2019. He has made some strides but hasn't shown huge improvement. He is a lock because he was a draft pick, and Bolts brass may feel like he is still developing. The second question is how many linemen the team will carry. It usually ranges from 8-10.
Teetering: There could be a chance that one undrafted free agent could make the team. There has been noise out of San Diego State about Kyle Spalding, so watch out for him. St. Louis was a surprise last season making the 53-man roster, so he will look to improve yet again. Norton is a former XFL player who played last season for the Chargers, but it was underwhelming. One of the positives for these players is that they will have preseason games to get multiple looks. Staley spoke about doing things a little differently at training camp so that everyone gets to show what they have to the coaching staff. He even mentioned that is how you find the next Austin Ekeler or Antonio Gates.
Add a piece: There is one free agent that the Chargers should think about bringing in as insurance, and that is former Kansas City Chief right tackle Mitchell Schwartz. He has been one of the best tackles in the league in the past and could be a good insurance blanket for the team. Last season, Bulaga missed numerous games and came out of some others. The team can't afford to have him miss time and there be a drop-off. Schwartz is a Super Bowl winning tackle that could help the team, whether it is as a leader, teacher, or maybe on the field. Plus, you get some information on your divisional rival.