What? Is this real? The Chargers are ranked among the top offensive lines in the NFL for ayet another year? Blasphemy. That can’t be right, can it?
You bet your sweet a** it is.
According to Pro Football Focus’ most-recent rankings, the Chargers landed just outside the top 10 at #12. And to be honest, if it wasn’t for a gaping black hole at right tackle, this would be a bonafide top-10 unit.
Per analyst Michael Renner, he expects the Chargers to eventually trot out a starting unit of (from left tackle to right tackle): Rashawn Slater, Matt Feiler, Corey Linsley, Zion Johnson, and....
Yes, that is correct. Renner believes Pipkins will improve enough heading into his fourth year with the team that he’ll inevitably yank the starting spot away from incumbent Storm Norton. Here’s what Renner had to say about the Chargers’ front five:
“The Chargers’ exact starting five is still up in the air, as Matt Feiler could move to right tackle. That spot was such a point of contention for Los Angeles’ offense last season and had to be completely schemed around. The answer, though, could also be Trey Pipkins, who looked much improved at the end of 2021 after enduring multiple rough starts in his first two NFL seasons. Pipkins allowed only three pressures over 76 pass-blocking snaps in his two starts.”
While it’s a small sample size, Renner is correct that Pipkins seemed to look much more comfortable during his two starts in 2021 compared to any other game he played in the prior two seasons. Whether it was with your own eyes or going by the numbers, it was hard to come away thinking otherwise.
During both of his 2021 starts, Pipkins recorded season-high game grades. His first start against Kansas City saw him post a 71.0 and he improved that number to 73.3. Overall, his season grade was a career high by over five points (68.5).
If Pipkins can continue to grow into the type of NFL player Tom Telesco believed he could be when he selected the former NAIA product three years ago, then this unit may end up blowing past expectations in 2022.