Uncharacteristically, the Chargers were one of the most-active teams this offseason. That was obviously highlighted by how many players they went after in free agency and also trading up in the first round of the draft for just the second time since Tom Telesco became the general manager in 2013.
The Chargers didn’t just make moves and hope for the best, however. They went out and got good, proven talent at a number of positions of need, which apparently caught the eyes of the media. In a recent roundtable discussion among ESPN analysts and writers, the Chargers’ improvements along the offensive line were one of the moves pegged as a top “underrated move” by an NFL team this offseason. Seth Walder, analytics writer, had this to say regarding the Bolts:
“The Los Angeles Chargers’ acquisitions of tackle Bryan Bulaga and guard Trai Turner were important. Over the past three seasons, Philip Rivers has played behind the 28th-ranked unit in pass block win rate, and general manager Tom Telesco would be wise to not have Tyrod Taylor and Justin Herbert do the same. But the job isn’t done: The Chargers still need a left tackle. Signing, say, Kelvin Beachum to fill that hole would put them in a better position for success.”
I’m not surprised the Turner and Bulaga acquisitions have gained praise. Re-vamping an entire side of an offensive line that has — as you see above — been pretty faulty for some time, the professionals who’ve watched this team over the years are going to make a note of it.
Kelvin Beachum has been keeping Sam clean: just 3 pressures allowed over his past 4 games (no sacks or hits), in which the Jets are 4-0. None allowed against the Raiders pic.twitter.com/7D0WhyRvQm— Michael Nania (@Michael_Nania) November 27, 2019
Walder’s last point is an excellent one. It’s also one that the entire fan base would get behind. The Chargers are this close to earning a strong “A” for their offseason, and the only thing stopping them is obtaining a veteran presence at left tackle. The dream would be Jason Peters, but I think Beachum would do just fine. In 2019 alone, while both weren’t exactly stellar, Beachum’s overall grade of 67.1 was a bit higher than Russell Okung’s 62.4 he provided once he returned to the field. Beachum’s also been relatively healthier on a more consistent basis.
Again, Peters, even at his advanced age, is the best-case scenario. But Beachum shouldn’t be cast aside by any means.