We all know that the likes of Dan Feeney, Sam Tevi, and Trent Scott were not up-to-par this year, especially when it came down to the bare bones of the team following the loss of Mike Pouncey and Forrest Lamp to injuries.
The Chargers NEED offensive line help. Like, in the worst way imaginable. They need a new right tackle and could stand to shoot some new life into one of the two guard spots.
Lucky for them, there are some great options in free agency, albeit some older ones, that could step in and have an immediate impact.
Here are the players I believe to be the best fit for the Chargers.
OG Brandon Scherff
One of the best athletes at the position in the entire NFL, Scherff started off his career with a shaky rookie campaign but has managed to roar back and make the Pro Bowl each of the last three years. He has dealt with some nagging injuries the last two years but when he’s 100%, you’re hard-pressed to find a better young player at guard besides the Colts’ Quenton Nelson.
A former left tackle in college, the 6-foot-5, 315-pound Scherff was the recipient of the Outland Trophy Award (Nation’s Best Interior Lineman) after his senior year before switching to guard before his rookie year. The former fifth-overall pick went viral when he was recording in the Iowa weight room hang-cleaning 425 pounds over five times. That was the Hawkeye record until former Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs, a 2020 potential first-round pick, broke it this past season.
Disrespectful Blocks of the Week is here! Watch these lineman on the move getting themselves some knockdowns! And Brandon Scherff gets himself multiple full slabs! pic.twitter.com/58h9qYzR3r— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) October 18, 2018
Scherff’s skill-set transcends any scheme and will be a plug-and-play guard for the foreseeable future. In Lynn’s power run scheme, the Chargers could benefit from a guard who is smooth when pulling out into space and can latch on to smaller defenders before sticking them in the dirt.
OT Anthony Castonzo
At 31 years old, Castonzo may not be the first option when it comes to signing an impact free agent.
Chris Ballard: Anthony Castonzo has '3 or 4 years of high-level play' left https://t.co/gKXSztWjpg— TheColtsWire (@TheColtsWire) January 24, 2020
After all, the situation where the team signs Castonzo would be the one where they cut Russell Okung to make room for other signings, preferably the ones where they keep the best players currently on the team.
Castonzo would provide a refreshing mix of veteran experience and a consistent dependability. He has started all 16 games in three of the last four seasons and six of his nine total years in the pros. He’s also coming off his most efficient campaign where he was on flagged twice. After watching Trent Scott get flagged for essentially stepping on the field every single time, that poise between the lines would be phenomenal.
OT Jack Conklin
Conklin might be the most likely target for the Chargers in the entire free agent class due to the position he plays and his age (25). He has started every game in three of his four pro seasons with his 2018 season cut short to an ACL injury. He started the first nine games before prior.
Although his play seemed to get back to normal following the injury, he still struggled with penalties. Of his eight total flags in 2019, half of them were holding with three more coming on false starts. That definitely will make you hesitate but it was his worst season and you can give the guy a year to get back into the swing of things following such a devastating injury.
At the end of the day, Conklin exhibits the mindset that’s been missing along the Chargers’ front five for far too long. I couldn’t tell you the last offensive lineman for the Bolts who was constantly looking for work and attempting to pancake the defenders in front of him. As a huge fan of offensive line play, myself, I would do a lot of sketchy things to bring an elite OL to the Chargers for the 2020 season.