In a new set of “future” NFL power rankings put out by ESPN, analysts such as Louis Riddick and Field Yates went about grading each club in a handful of important categories. Those included quarterback, the remaining roster, coaching, front office, and ability to draft well year-in and year-out.
After weighing all their grades together, they published their findings and you’ll be happy to know that the group of analysts believe the Chargers are in one of the best positions heading into the future. Out of 32 teams, the Chargers came in at No. 11.
Here what Yates had to say about why the Chargers landed so high:
“The crown jewel in roster construction is an ascendant quarterback on a rookie contract, and the Chargers have just that in Justin Herbert. The prodigious signal-caller is the centerpiece of a roster that has All-Pro talent in several key spots, including edge rusher and wide receiver (Joey Bosa and Keenan Allen). Areas for key growth include the offensive line, which could unlock yet another level to Herbert’s mastery.”
Now we all know there’s plenty of optimism to go around regarding the current state of the franchise, but Riddick was tasked with giving his thoughts on what could be the team’s “biggest worry” heading into the new season.
“The Bears’ linebackers coach just four seasons ago, new coach Brandon Staley has had a rocket-like ride to the top. Herbert had a historically good rookie season in 2020 under the previous regime and is now starting over again with different leadership and direction. I’m a believer in Staley, but the Chargers are taking a big risk entrusting him with Herbert’s continuing development given his absence of any track record with developing professional QBs.”
So Riddick believes lack of experience in some key areas, despite recent success, is something that can’t be overlooked. While Staley is coming off the number one defense in the league, and Herbert is still polishing his Offensive Rookie of the Year trophy, it was still just a single year. 2021 is a fresh start and anything can happen, but my money is on neither falling flat out of the blue.
According to @gregcosell, they now give players “athletic intelligence” tests and Justin Herbert scored off the charts— Ross Tucker Podcast (@RossTuckerPod) July 17, 2021