Following the grandiose event that is the NFL free agency period, the Chargers came in at No. 17 on ESPN’s NFL power rankings. That ranking was fine at the time but most would have argued they replaced the talent that left with even more talent after the fact.
When you look at it, the team lost Melvin Ingram, Casey Hayward, and Hunter Henry and replaced them with Corey Linsley, Matt Feiler, Jared Cook, and Kyler Fackrell. By name power alone, it may not seem like the Chargers got the better end of the deal, but once you take into consideration Ingram and Hayward’s 2020 performance, you’ll see that the Bolts’ latest haul exceeds that of what they lost.
Despite the notable additions in free agency, and the picture-perfect first two picks in this year’s draft, the Chargers still remain at No. 17 in ESPN’s most-recent post-draft power rankings. For context, the Saints and Patriots are 18th and 19th behind them and the Cowboys and Steelers are immediately in front of them at 16th and 15th.
The Saints lost Drew Brees but still have a wealth of talent on either side of the ball. Their position behind the Bolts is a little questionable but I won’t argue with the analysts on this one. However, I will argue that the Cowboys don’t have anymore talent on either side of the ball right now than the Chargers do.
Both have exciting, young quarterbacks surrounded by some of the best receivers and running backs in the NFL. Both have notable offensive lineman in front of them. On defense, each team has an elite edge rusher with athletic linebackers in the middle. However, the Chargers easily get the nod as the more talented secondary with the likes of Derwin James, Chris Harris Jr., and Michael Davis. The Cowboys have just second-year corner Trevon Diggs and former Falcons safety, Damontae Kazee.
We’ll still have to wait and see how things shake out for everyone when the season gets here, but if we’re going to play this game of power rankings ahead of time and base them off where the team currently stands on paper, the Chargers are certainly going to deserve a good deal of hype.