Earlier in the week, three players who could flourish in Brandon Staley and Renaldo Hill's defense was written, so now it is time to look at the offensive side of the football. There is a lot to be excited about for Justin Herbert's second season.
There are question marks about offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and what he brings to the team. He was an offensive coordinator once before in Detroit, but things ended pretty badly after a season and a handful of games.
He went back to New Orleans as Drew Brees' quarterback's coach and has said it feels like he has grown from his previous experience. He will undoubtedly have a lot more weapons than he did with the Lions, but who are some players that could exceed expectations in this new offense?
- Mike Williams- wide receiver
There hasn't really been a season where Williams puts everything together and has a "breakout season," but this could be it. He has had a 1,000-yard season, and he has had a ten-touchdown season, but never together. That could change this season. Lombardi mentioned a couple of weeks back that the receiver will be playing the "Michael Thomas role" in the Bolts new offense. That means they will use him in many different ways, so Williams will have needed to work on his route tree because Thomas does it all for the Saints. He is also going into a contract year, so expect a potentially big year from number 81.
2. Austin Ekeler- running back
Why is one of the most productive offensive players in recent years on here? Well, Ekeler had an injury last season that kept him out of six games, plus it took him a while to get in a groove. Plus, he wasn't being used right. Ekeler is a running back that needs to be all over the field. In 2018, then OC Ken Whisenhunt had him moving in motion, at receiver, and basically like a swiss army knife. Lombardi needs to use Ekeler in that way this upcoming season. He has some similarities to Alvin Kamara from the Saints. The Chargers must let Ekeler be free and move him around the offense pre-snap, so he can take advantage of mismatches the way he has in the past. Besides, it seems like this offense will be rotating running backs, giving Ekeler a chance to move around the field and help in other areas.
3. Donald Parham- tight end
Curveball! It will be a battle for the young tight end to make the roster, but he showed some playmaking ability last season. He is around 6 foot 8 inches and has speed. He was able to score a couple of touchdowns and improved his game as the season went along. In the final two games of the season, he had two catches for 47 yards and three catches for 37 yards and a touchdown. Parham could be a game-changer in 2021 if he continues to build off last season. Lombardi could have a mismatch tight end that could really take advantage of small defenders if he grows from last season to this one. Plus, Herbert practiced with him during training camp last season and built a connection with the tight end, so he could be in for a solid season.