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Chargers Position Group Previews: Offensive Line


After years of inconsistency along the offensive line, it appears the Chargers unit this year may be decent. Recently ranked the 9th best offensive line per PFF, the Chargers front five features a good blend of veterans and youngsters. It feels weird saying that the Chargers OL might be one of their strengths, yet here we are. As we continue our position group previews we’ll take a dive into the Bolts OL. 


Chargers confident in rookie linemen Zion Johnson, Jamaree Salyer – Orange County Register

Image: Orange County Register

The Starters: Rashawn Slater, Zion Johnson, Corey Linsley, Jamaree Salyer, and Trey Pipkins (LT, LG, C, RG, RT)

Criticized throughout the draft process for his arm length, it’s fair to say Rashawn Slater has proved his doubters wrong. Going into his third season, Slater has an impressive resume despite battling injuries. In his inaugural season, Slater was named to the Pro-Bowl and All-Rookie Teams leading him to being an OROTY candidate. This season, we should expect nothing less as Slater now also has experience to pair with his natural talent. 

After Slater’s big rookie season, much was expected of Zion Johnson. The first year man was good in the run game, as expected, but underperformed in the passing game. This season he’ll move to LG which is where he played in college. His familiarity with the position and the experience he amassed last year will hopefully set Johnson on the right path. 

There isn’t much to be said about Corey Linsley. Year to year, he’s been one of the best centers in the game. He’s a smart player, a great leader, and exactly who the Chargers need to lead their offensive line. 

Jamaree Salyer was a godsend for the Bolts. After Slater went down, Salyer stepped in seamlessly. This season, Salyer will move to RG, where he has experience playing as a Georgia Bulldog. There may be some bumps in the road since he hasn’t played the position in some time, but expect him to eventually dominate as he did last year. 

Trey Pipkins is projected to be the weak link of this group. He’s shown flashes of being good but has also shown much inconsistency. He signed a 3 year deal in the offseason, indicating the Chargers weren’t going to use a high selection on an OT. Unfortunately, the rest of Charger Nation is struggling to see him as starter material.


Clemson Tigers Snapshot Profile: No. 71 Jordan McFadden

Image: Clemson Wire – USA Today

The Backups: Foster Sarell (OT), Brenden Jaimes (IOL), Will Clapp (IOL), and Jordan McFadden (OL)

I’m not going to lie, it’s worrisome that the Chargers didn’t do much to bolster their OT depth. Foster Sarell should make the roster but not much should be expected of him. Last season, he posted a pass blocking grade of 49.7 and a run blocking grade of 37.0 to combine for an overall grade of 44.6 per PFF. He could earn some playing time depending on how rookie Jordan McFadden develops. But if you’re a Chargers fan, I wouldn’t be too fond of this situation. 

Brenden Jaimes has been on the roster for a few seasons now as the Chargers 5th round pick back in 2021. He hasn’t really had an opportunity to show what he’s got, but the fact that he’s managed to stick as a backup isn’t a bad sign. I doubt he’ll play much this season, but it’s nice knowing there’s a familiar face that can be relied on should anything happen. 

Will Clapp signed with the Chargers as a free agent last offseason. He earned some reps at center last year when Linsley went down with injury and proved to be useful. A center primarily, I’d expect Clapp to be one of the first options to play guard should something happen to Salyer or Johnson. 

When the Chargers selected McFadden in the 5th round I wasn’t too pleased. Personally, I thought there were other prospects available that could’ve made a greater impact along the offensive line or at another position. Yet, here we are. This selection is very reminiscent of the Jamaree Salyer pick last year. Both were prospects who played OT but projected to make the move to the interior. I’m not saying McFadden will be the next Salyer, but wouldn’t that be a treat if he was?


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