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San Diego Chargers Positional Analysis: Offensive Line

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Nick Hardwick is the last of the old guard on OL. He'll lead this group. But what kind of group is it?  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Nick Hardwick is the last of the old guard on OL. He'll lead this group. But what kind of group is it? (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Losses: Marcus McNeill, Kris Dielman, Scott Mruczkowski

Additions: Mario Henderson, Rex Hadnot, David Molk

Returning: Jared Gaither, Tyronne Green, Nick Hardwick, Louis Vasquez, Jeromey Clary, Brandyn Dombrowski, Colin Baxter, Stephen Schilling

Projected Starters: LT Jared Gaither*, LG Tyronne Green*, C Nick Hardwick, RG Louis Vasquez, RT Jeromey Clary (* = new starter)

Strengths:
  • Consistency: Three returning starters, plus other two projected starters were starting by the end of last season.
  • Experience: Center is experienced and can make all the line calls. All others also have starting experience in the NFL, with the right side have a fair amount more.
  • Upside: New LT has physical ability to be above average blindside protector.
  • Depth: Two experienced backups (Henderson and Hadnot) have been brought in and another one returns (Dombrowski). Young players (Schilling, Baxter and Molk) have promise.


Weaknesses:

  • Downside: New LT has lost starting jobs and been cut before. New LG might get exposed with extended playing.
  • Injuries: Four of the five lineman have had injuries that have cost them playing time over the last 2 years.
  • Level of play: There's no likely Pro Bowlers here. The likely scenario is that this line is somewhere between slightly below average and slightly above average. This may not be a weakness, but it's certainly not a strength,