The Chargers went out prior to the 2022 season and revamped their interior defensive line with the additions of Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson. By the end of the regular season, the group was almost unrecognizable due to injuries and the Chargers deciding to part ways with former 2019 first-round pick, Jerry Tillery.
With the outlook of the group once again murky due to free agency still on the horizon, along with current Charger Morgan Fox expected to hit the market, the group could see a bit of turnover before the 2023 season arrives.
So could the Chargers stand to add another body into the mix? They did just draft Otitio Ogbonnia in the fifth round last year but he lasted a little over half the season before landing on IR. With Johnson also coming off a severe injury, on top of being another year older, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see them continue reinforcing an underperforming group.
Jeff Kerr over at CBS Sports went about doing his own bit of free agent matchmaking and he tabbed the Chargers as a great fit for defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins who spent the 2022 season in New York with the Jets.
“The Chargers spent big in free agency last offseason, yet still couldn’t plug all the holes on their roster, says Kerr. “The run defense was atrocious, ranking 32nd in yards per carry and 28th in rush yards allowed.”
“Rankins isn’t the biggest name available on the market, but he can get pressure up the middle for Joey Bosa on the edge and can stop the run better than any option Los Angeles had last season. Those three sacks, 25 pressures, and 8.5% pressure rate can go a long way.”
Rankins has back-to-back seasons with three sacks and at least four tackles for loss. His 43 total tackles in 2022 were also a career high coming in year seven for the former first-round pick out of Louisville. With 31 starts over the last two seasons, the Chargers could take advantage of what should be a rather cheap signing in order to reinforce a group with another proven veteran to go along with both Joseph-Day and Johnson.
Heading to Denver this week for Jets/Broncos...— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) October 17, 2022
Excited to dive into this Jets team and in particular Robert Saleh's defense... Sheldon Rankins is feasting up front! Put the whoopin' on GB OL
No clue what happened to this Packers offense btw - yikes. pic.twitter.com/EHFOSxze7h