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Chargers Week 11 Rookie Report: Spiller shows progress vs. Chiefs

Here’s where the Chargers rookies stand after a week 11 loss to the Chiefs.

Kansas City Chiefs v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Five of the Chargers’ seven rookies saw snaps on either offense or defense against the Chiefs. That’s the most by the group so far this season and a good sign that the team is continuing to trust some of these guys more and more as the season goes on.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t any real standout performance by a rookie, but that didn’t stop at least one of them from raising their stock amongst his fellow first-year players.

Let’s go ahead and check out how the Chargers’ seven rookies fared against the Niners in week 11.

OG Zion Johnson

The Chiefs pass rush had the Chargers offensive line in hell for most of Sunday night. Aside from Corey Linsley, every other member of the line allowed at least three pressures while three individuals allowed at least one sack. Johnson was one of those three.

The rookie finished with three pressures allowed and a pass block grade of 23.7. I shouldn’t have to further explain just how bad that grade is when a 60.0 is seen as “average” among PFF grades.

On the season, Johnson is ranked 31st out of 32 qualifying guards in pass block grade (44.7) who have played at least 80 percent of his team’s offensive snaps this season.

Stock direction: Down

S JT Woods

Woods was active for a second week in a row and logged a career-high 14 snaps against the Chiefs. Unfortunately, he recorded one of the Chargers’ seven missed tackles and was the only defender with a missed tackle while playing less than 28 snaps.

He may have found his way into real game snaps, but the tackling still seems to be an issue.

Stock direction: Down

RB Isaiah Spiller

Spiller received his first carry of the night and took it 11 yards, good for the longest run of his young career. Unfortunately, his next three carries combined for zero yards. But through the air, Spiller caught a pair of passes for another 11 yards, including a long of eight which helps the Chargers get ahead of the chains on first down.

It wasn’t a huge workload, but still a positive sign for his progression. On the other hand, he posted an 18.5 in pass protection. That is nowhere near good enough if he’s wanting to continuing earning the trust of the coaching staff.

Stock direction: Same

DL Otito Ogbonnia

Ogbonnia is on injured reserve and will remain there for several more weeks.

Stock direction: Same

OL Jamaree Salyer

Like Johnson, Salyer had a rough night against Kansas City. He allowed his first sack since taking over as the team’s starting left tackle and totaled four pressures allowed on the night. He ended with a pass block grade of 49.8 and a run block grade of 51.7. Those were good for his second-worst and third-worst marks in each category, respectively, in 2022.

Stock direction: Down

CB Ja’Sir Taylor

Taylor saw his first career snaps on defense against the Chiefs. It was just two plays, but that’s something he’ll remember for the rest of his career. He played mainly on special teams once again with 18 total snaps.

Stock direction: Same

CB Deane Leonard

Leonard was called for a holding penalty on the opening kickoff of the second half. It dug the Chargers even further into their own territory just before a pivotal drive that certainly could have swung the tide of the remaining half should the offense have gone down and put up any amount of points on the scoreboard.

Despite making a big-time special teams play earlier in the year, Leonard cost the Chargers a good amount of momentum on Sunday night.

Stock direction: Down

FB Zander Horvath

Horvath recorded one carry for three yards that went for a first down. He played just eight snaps on offense and 18 on special teams. He earned a special teams grade of 68.6, good for third-highest on the team.

Stock direction: Same