Soon after center Scott Quessenberry was selected by the Chargers in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, it was brought to light that the former UCLA Bruin was a fan of the Bolts growing up. This wasn’t all that surprising when you read that Scott is a native of Carlsbad, California, which is just 33 miles north of San Diego.
In high school, Quessenberry was named a three-star recruit and selected to play in the Under Armour All-American game as one of the top center prospects in the country. His position ranks from Scout, Rivals, and ESPN were seventh, fifth, and third, respectively. After 33 total starts at the prep level, Quessenberry took his talents to UCLA where he went on to be an impact player from the jump.
As a freshman in 2013, he saw six total starts: one at center and five at left guard. He opened the following season as the team’s pivot while the original starter was out for a single game before starting at guard for the remainder of the year. He was named honorable mention All-Pac 12 for his efforts. As a true junior in 2015, Quessenberry succumbed to a severe injury which forced the budding star into a medical redshirt year.
Quessenberry, now back and better than ever, finished his final two seasons by starting all 25 games at center. He was named a First-Team All-Pac 12 in 2016 and then earned another honorable mention accolade as a senior in 2017.
Since being drafted by the Chargers, Quessenberry has started nine games while playing in 31 total contests. Those nine all came at center to end this past season after both Mike Pouncey and Forrest Lamp went down with season-ending injuries.
Years with team: 2
“Scott Quessenberry signed a 4 year, $2,744,252 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including a $284,252 signing bonus, $284,252 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $686,063. In 2020, Quessenberry will earn a base salary of $750,000, while carrying a cap hit of $821,063 and a dead cap value of $142,126.” - Spotrac.com
Prior to the 2018 NFL Draft, Quessenberry was one of my top centers in the entire class. I think he may have been as high as third, behind only Ohio State’s Bill Price and Iowa’s James Daniels. The biggest thing that stood out to me on his film at UCLA was his short-area quickness that helped him always stay between his man and the quarterback. One of his best games came against the University of Washington and former first-round defensive tackle, Vita Vea. While Vea was usually a one-man wrecking ball, Quessenberry probably played him the best of any center in the Pac-12.
In Quessenberry’s nine starts last year, he played admirably and held his own against some really good defenses, which included the Bears and Packers. He also fits the Chargers’ power run scheme, but I believe he’ll thrive just as well in a zone scheme should the Bolts switch run game philosophies completely in 2020.
I love it when young players get their shot and crush it. Chargers center (61) Scott Quessenberry has been excellent since taking over the position. Chargers lost Pouncey and Lamp to injury but the run game has been revived because of Okung’s return and SQ’s solid play. pic.twitter.com/coY7i7SyaB— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) November 4, 2019
He also allowed just a single sack while starting for the Chargers. Compared to some of the other young guys on the line, that’s a number we’ll all gladly take.
While not a consistent site, Quessenberry can sometimes get caught off-guard by more savvy veterans who know just how to read and set-up younger offensive linemen. He took his lumps as a second-year player as expected, but his play will only get better with more time spent on the field.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2020?
Quessenberry, alongside Forrest Lamp, is one of the main depth pieces for the Chargers. He can play either of the three interior positions and probably has a good chance of passing Forrest Lamp as the next man up should Lamp’s injuries hold him back any further. While Quessenberry won’t be a starter, he may see a start or two should those inevitable injuries rear their head in 2020.