a year after the humiliating defeat jacksonville jaguars 27-point lead on the road – in the AFC wild-card game los angeles chargers Once again this is a trendy pick for an intense postseason run in 2023.

those high expectations begin Justin Herbertthe No. 6 overall selection in the 2020 draft. Oregon The product signed a five-year, $262.5 million contract extension just before the start of training camp. However, Herbert has yet to lead the Bolts to a post-season win in three NFL seasons.

“With Justin Herbert, they’re going to throw it all over the yard,” Fox Sports NFL analyst Bucky Brooks said of the Chargers, who hired Kellen Moore to replace Joe Lombardi as offensive coordinator this offseason. “They’re going to pin their hopes and dreams on his right arm. And he’s quite a good one. He’s talented. He’s the prototypical, franchise quarterback you want. He’s big. He’s smart and he’s got a great arm.” Has talent. He’s played well in the big spots.”

Brooks said that in addition to Herbert’s excellent play, the Chargers need to keep their other frontline players healthy. sprinter joey bossa Played in only five games last season due to a groin injury that required surgery. receiver keenan allen While he missed seven games due to a hamstring injury mike williams missed four games due to a highly sprained ankle and was lost after the season at Jacksonville due to a back problem.

The Chargers ranked 15th in the Football Outsiders Adjusted Games Lost metric last season. This offseason, the team hired a new head coach.

“He’s got to find a way around this injury problem that’s been plaguing him,” Brooks said. “I don’t know why they’ve been injured so much. I don’t know if they’ve looked into their ways, whether it’s practice or something, but there’s something about this team that’s always without their best guys. When they need them the most.”

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Chargers’ young talent.

youth corps

QB Justin Herbert
ot rashon slater
cb thanks samuel jr,
WR Quentin Johnson
official language Zion Johnson
deli call tuiplutu
official language jamari salier
rb Isaiah Spiller
WR Joshua Palmer
LB Kenneth Murray Jr.,
WR Darius Davis
LB Diane Henley

Standout: Justin Herbert

Having been overlooked nationally out of college due to his reserved nature and the fact that he did not play in a pro-style offense, Herbert settled into the right position and blossomed for the Chargers.

When asked by an NFL scout why Herbert did not go higher in the draft, he said, “He was never drafted.” “Never called a play. Never broke up the crowd. Never took a picture in the middle. Never held back – a lot of things the same [as Marcus Mariota], But he was an athlete, and you could see he was smart.”

Justin Herbert on Kellen Moore’s taking control of the offense

Statistically, Herbert is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. His 14,089 passing yards during three seasons are the most in league history by an NFL QB. As a member of an organization that featured Dan Fouts, Drew Brees and Philip Rivers under center, Herbert already held the franchise’s single-season records for passing yards (5,014) and passing touchdowns (38).

But having secured a lucrative new deal in 2023, Herbert is expected to shoulder the bolt on his broad shoulders.

“Can he get this team over the hump?” asked Brooks. “Can he overcome the coaching or lack thereof to get them there? With Brandon Staley, he’s a brilliant mind. But he’s delivered games with a high-risk, high-reward approach. Now that They paid off. Can Justin Herbert get a little louder and say, ‘No, no, no, that’s what we’re doing,’ just like you’ve seen Philip Rivers do [in the past], He was able to take control, was able to override some things, as we’ve seen some typical quarterbacks do.”

Potential Breakout: Quentin Johnson

TCU The product was a perfect fit for a franchise that craves tall, wide receivers. The Chargers took Johnson with the 21st overall pick in this year’s draft. At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Johnston has good speed and can run the entire NFL root tree.

But consistency in catching the football remains an issue.

Fox Sports NFL Draft analyst Rob Rang said, “He’s a guy who can rush down the field and be a threat to the big play – go up, high-point the ball and get away from guys.” can run.” “He threw more passes than he should have at TCU for a first-round receiver. I think physically he has the talent to be the best receiver in his class.

“I loved that he went to the Chargers specifically because you’ve got the receivers already set up there. You already have a superstar quarterback and running back. Instead of letting him be that guy, he needs to come in and do a little bit more.” Being asked to play a complementary role was at TCU. And I think that could help him.”

[Williams: WR Quentin Johnston could be showstopper Chargers need for QB Justin Herbert]

Negotiable Contract: Kenneth Murray Jr.

Chosen 23rd overall in the 2020 draft oklahoma, Murray has not yet realized his enormous athletic potential. His rookie year was statistically his best season as a professional player, finishing with 107 combined tackles and one sack. But he had trouble finding a consistent, productive role in defense of Staley. Last year, Murray finished with 76 combined tackles, one interception and one sack.

The 24-year-old inside linebacker is entering the final year of his rookie deal. The Chargers declined his fifth-year option earlier this year.

An NFL scout said, “He’s a phenomenal prospect, a phenomenal athlete.” “The way he can chase the ball, I think if they played a defense a little more suited to him, I don’t know how he doesn’t get better. But he’s got to move.”

How close are the Dolphins, Chiefs, Chargers to Collin’s Super Bowl end zone?

key figures

  • Since the start of the 2020 season, Herbert’s 13 game-winning drives rank third in the NFL, while his 10 drives over the past two years rank second in the league.
  • Herbert is the first player in NFL history to have over 4,000 passing yards in each of his first three NFL seasons.
  • thanks austin Leads the NFL with 38 total touchdowns over the past two seasons, including a league-best 12 total touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
  • Since 2017, Keenan Allen has led the league in receptions on third down, totaling 168 catches for 2,236 yards and leading the chain on 137 of those catches.
  • Asante Samuel Jr.’s 22 pass defense over the past two seasons ranks 18th among all cornerbacks. He is also the first player to intercept three passes in the first half of a post-season game.
  • In 2021, Rashon Slater recorded an overall offensive grade of 83.6 – eighth best among all offensive tackles.
  • The Chargers last won the AFC West division in 2009.

inside information

on WR Quentin Johnson

“His first round selection was not easy. He has some work to do, but I predict he will be overtaken by Mike Williams sooner or later. Mike is still running about half the root tree. I see the same guy who it was his rookie year. He hasn’t improved; he hasn’t gotten worse. He gets hurt every time he gets on the field. He makes plays that make you wonder, then he turns around and leaves an easy ball. I think Quentin has a huge upside. He’s a great kid. He’s got to eliminate some deep balls and learn how to do that, and I think he has There are tools to do that.” -NFL Scout

On CB Asante Samuel Jr.

“I don’t think you can go wrong with a guy like that. He’s going to play for a long time. He’s probably the best player after Derwin James, although they are two different body types. He is a force for them. It was a fight for our people to come out in the open against him. He made some plays.” -NFL Scout

DL Tuli on Tuipulotu

“As far as his instincts, his physicality and versatility, he’s a playmaker. He’s played up and down the line and as a linebacker, so I’m really amazed by his versatility for the Chargers. I think they still need more dirtiness on the defensive side of the ball. And it’s not that Tuipulotu is a dirty player by any means, but he’s physical and he’s combative. So I think that helps meets.” -NFL Talent Evaluator

on lb witch henley

“I love his sideline-to-sideline speed and ball skills. I think he’s a perfect fit for today’s NFL and today’s linebackers. He’s more of a run-getter than that classic, run-stuffing, glass-eating middle.” End-Chase is more than linebacker. Linebacker. But I think it fits when you consider quarterbacks and offenses in the AFC West.” -NFL Talent Evaluator

Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for more than a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. follow him on twitter @eric_d_williams,

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