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Chargers Position Group Preview: Linebacker

Linebacker has been one of the weak points for the Chargers and it feels as if there’s no remedy. Last year, Kyle van Noy helped but their unit still struggled overall. Patience is being lost in Kenneth Murray but the Chargers faithful is hopeful that Eric Kendricks will balance things out. Ranked at 21 in PFF LB unit rankings, there’s plenty of room for improvement. 

Disclaimer: Although players such as Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa are listed as linebackers, I included them in my defensive line article and, therefore, will not be listing them below. 


Vikings need another elite season from Eric Kendricks in 2020

Image: The Vikings Age

The Starters: Eric Kendricks and Kenneth Murray Jr. 

From this off-season’s free agency, Eric Kendricks is obviously the prized catch. After all, how can you dislike this homecoming for him? Now 31 years of age, he isn’t the elite linebacker he once was, but he’s still an excellent player whom will be relied upon to be a leader. As for Kenneth Murray, many Chargers fans have given up on the former first round pick. He’s shown flashes of why he was selected so high, but is still slow dissecting plays. He’s still the excellent athlete many drooled over back in 2020, but he’ll be on a short leash with rookie linebacker Daiyan Henley on the roster. 


Amen Ogbongbemiga

Image: Chargers 

The Rest: Nick Niemann and Amen Ogbongbemiga

Niemann was selected in the 6th round of the 2021 NFL Draft while Ogbongbemiga going undrafted that same year. Nevertheless, over the past two years, both players have been limited to a special teams role. Due to injuries this past season, both played a few snaps where they did alright, but ultimately performed worthy to where they fell during the 2021 NFL Draft. Although unlikely, there’s the possibility that both receive meaningful snaps on defense. Still, their value will primarily be seen on special teams. 


wsu cougar Daiyan Henley is almost a millionaire - CougCenter

Image: CougCenter

The Overlooked Linebacker: Daiyan Henley 

A late riser in this year’s NFL Draft, Henley is another SoCal native. A former return man and WR at the University of Nevada, Henley’s athleticism is seen through his range and fluidity. There’s still much for him to learn, but expect him to slowly gain more snaps if Kenneth Murray’s progression remains stagnant. 


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