Foster Sarell hails from Graham, Washington where he prepped for Graham-Kapowsin High School under head coach Eric Kurle. In his first year, he became the first freshman in school history to start at left tackle for the varsity team. By the end of his career, he was rated a five-star recruit by numerous scouting outlets, including Scout, Rivals, 247sports, and ESPN. After performing in the Army All-American Game, he announced that he’d be continuing his athletic career at Stanford.
Unlike his high school career, Sarell did not immediately earn a starting role with the Cardinal, despite playing in all 14 games as a freshman. His sophomore season was then cut short due to an injury he sustained in their second game. Overall, he saw time in just three contests in 2018.
Sarell finally got his time as a starter during his junior campaign. He started 11 games at right tackle and earned Honorable Mention All-Pac 12 accolades following the season. He capped off his time in Palo Alto with six starts at right tackle before entering the NFL draft.
After his college career failed to meet the sky-high expectations Sarell earned as a prep, it wasn’t a big surprise that he wound up going undrafted in 2021. He initially signed a contract with the Baltimore Ravens where he spent the first part of his rookie season before being released. He later signed with the Chargers in mid-October of that year. Following the season, he signed a reserve/future contract to stay in L.A.
In 2022, Sarell saw time in seven games while recording three starts in place of both Rashawn Slater and Trey Pipkins. This offseason, he signed a one-year deal to remain in Los Angeles through the 2023 campaign.
Years with team: 2
“Foster Sarell signed a 1 year, $705,000 contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, including an average annual salary of $705,000. In 2023, Sarell will earn a base salary of $870,000, while carrying a cap hit of $870,000.” - Spotrac.com
At almost 6’7 and 315 pounds, Sarell’s physical makeup is very much the ideal prototype at the NFL level. After all, that’s a big reason he was deemed the number one offensive tackle prospect coming out of his prep career. Coming out of Stanford, NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein noted that Sarell has “strong hands that hold rushers in place” and “a mentality to finish blocks.”
This offseason, Sarell was seen alongside both Rashawn Slater and Trey Pipkins training alongside a host of other offensive linemen in Texas under the guidance of Duke Manyweather, a vaunted o-line guru. Many believe Pipkins’ jump in progression in 2022 was due to Manyweather’s training and one can only hope it has the same effect on Sarell who is gunning for the team’s swing tackle job in 2023.
Foster’s steep decline from top high school prospect to undrafted free agent is unfortunately going to be the biggest negative Sarell is tagged with. He struggled with injuries throughout his time at Stanford and his inability to find success through a change in position coach early in his college career doesn’t breed a ton of confidence that he can succeed given the ever-shifting circumstances that come with being an NFL player.
In 2022, Sarell graded out with a lackluster 44.6 overall mark by Pro Football Focus with his worst grad coming in run blocking at 37.0.
Odds of making the roster/What to expect in 2023?
After the coaching staff gave him ample opportunities to contribute last year through Pipkins’ nagging injuries, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sarell earn the swing tackle gig once again. Fifth-round pick Jordan McFadden could push for the role, as well, but it’s likely McFadden is headed for a transition to the interior which would leave Sarell left to fight off guys like Andrew Trainer and 2023 UDFA Nic Melsop. As of now, I believe he has the inside track to retain the role for another year.