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Chargers 90-in-90: OT Storm Norton

Norton was signed by the Bolts after impressing in the XFL.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Norton starred as a prep for Whitmer High School in Toledo, Ohio. He was a First-Team All-State selection and the District’s Lineman of the Year. Like most kids dream of, Norton got the opportunity to play for his hometown Toledo Rockets after graduating.

Following a redshirt season in 2012, Norton played sparingly in a reserve role in seven games. As a sophomore, he got the first three starts of his career at left tackle while playing in 13 contests total.

Norton started the final 26 games of his career as a junior and senior. In both seasons, he was named a First-Team All-MAC selection and earned a spot on the All-Bowl Team in 2015.

Even after a great career for the Rockets, Norton went undrafted in 2017. He initially signed with the Lions as an undrafted free agent but only lasted half the season there. He spent a short stint with the Cardinals before settling in with the Vikings in December.

Norton spent a back-and-forth two seasons with the Vikings, going up and down from the practice squad to the active roster. He was waived for the final time during the final cuts prior to the 2019 regular season.

During the second phase of the XFL draft, the one in which teams drafted their offensive linemen, Norton was the first player picked to the Los Angeles Wildcats. After the coronavirus pandemic shut things down for good, Norton was signed by the Chargers to a two-year deal on April 14.

In his first season with the Bolts, Norton recorded the first three starts in his NFL career and saw playing time in three others.

Basic Info

Height: 6’8
Weight: 306
College: Toledo
Experience: 4
Years with team: 1

Contract Status

“Storm Norton signed a 2 year, $1,525,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $762,500. In 2021, Norton will earn a base salary of $780,000, while carrying a cap hit of $780,000.” - Spotrac.com

The Good

Norton joined the Chargers after earning the highest grade by Pro Football Focus out of all offensive lineman who participated in the abbreviate XFL season this past year. In his three starts this past season, he played admirably, seeing just as many highs as he did lows when thrown into the fire to replace an injured Bryan Bulaga and/or Sam Tevi. Overall, he has some un-coachable traits such as his height and length. These will help keep his potential higher than others as he continues through his career.

The Bad

Despite being one of the larger lineman in the NFL, Norton lacks a ton of pure and functional strength. This is the former personal trainer in me speaking, but Norton is built very lean and he’s proportionally small through his arms. Lineman don’t have to be the biggest and strongest guys on the field to find success. A lot of wins come from experience and learning the nuances of the position, but his lack of pure mass and brawn certainly isn’t helping him.

Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2021?

Norton has earned himself the shot to compete for an active roster spot in his first season under the new coaching staff and he’s currently set up to find a spot among the final 53. The team is likely keeping around nine linemen through final cuts and Norton is certainly one of the bottom one or two of that group. He provides depth on both sides at tackle along with Trey Pipkins and the other two linemen kept will likely be depth along the interior.