Analyzing Chris Rumph’s Role Among the Los Angeles Chargers Elite Edge Rushers

This is a make or break season for Chris Rumph II.

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Chris Rump II has his work cut out for him as he shares a position group with some monsters on the Los Angeles Chargers roster. There’s Khalil Mack, who had a career-high in sacks (18) last year and seems to be pulling a Dorian Gray. Joey Bosa hasn’t been a game-wrecker in the last couple of seasons due to injury, but if he’s healthy, watch out. There’s second-year Tuli Tuipulotu, who had a really solid first season.

Outside of these elite players, the Chargers added depth in some undrafted free agents, like Savion Jackson from North Carolina State and Tremon Morris-Brash from Central Florida. Andrew Farmer II is also still on the active roster at Edge, while Ty Shelby is on the practice squad, and Brevin Allen is on the reserve/futures list.

Not all these guys will make the 53-man roster, especially when it comes to the undrafted free agents, but with so much depth at the position, can Rumph carve out a space and get some consistent playing time? 

Rumph’s History With the Los Angeles Chargers

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Indianapolis Colts
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Rumph is currently on the last year of his rookie contract, as he was drafted in 2021 by the Chargers at 118 in the fourth round. He had his biggest chance to shine in 2022 when stepping in for an injured Bosa. That resulted in the most defensive snaps of his NFL career so far.

He had career-highs in sacks (two), quarterback hits (five), hurries (10), and battled passes (one). But areas like solo tackles (five) and STOPS (three) went down from the previous year when he played far fewer snaps. His Pro Football Focus (PFF) grade for tackling in particular was the lowest it’s ever been (25.3) as he had nine missed tackles in 2022.  

Rumph was originally advertised with his pass-rushing ability at the forefront. In the 2021 PFF draft guide, one of his pros was that he had a “pass-rushing toolbox that can stand up with NFL veterans,” and it was said that “you won’t find a more skilled pass rusher in the draft class.” PFF also mentioned his father, who has experience coaching outside linebackers most notably in the NFL and college, and is now the assistant defensive ends coach at Clemson.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Chargers
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In 2022, I saw flashes of the pass rushing ability that everyone was talking about. During Week 15 against the Titans, on a third-and-nine,  Rumph came right off the edge, quickly taking down Ryan Tannehill before he even realized Rumph was in the area.

And Rumph did the same during Week 16 against the Colts on a second-and-13. After Nick Foles had just been sacked, Rumph got him on the next play.

Seeing Rumph play in college, it’s like he was glue, once he latched onto a quarterback, he stuck to him until the play was dead. That same pass-rush ability has just not materialized for Rumph in the NFL. Granted, he has dealt with some injuries, including a fractured foot that put him on injured reserve starting in Week 10 in 2023, but even with the playing time he’s had, his PFF pass-rush grade has firmly stayed middle of the road, and only once reached the 60s (64.2) in only true pass sets last year.  

Can Rumph Stand Out? 

Rumph is going to have a hard time this year. It’s a crowded position group, which is great because the Chargers have always needed depth, but bad for Rumph, because if either Bosa or Mack goes out with an injury, he may not be the choice to step in.

I can see Rumph having the same amount or less playing time than last year, depending on how some of the undrafted free agents perform during camp. Rumph has always been a backup but may be pushed even farther down the depth chart unless he has a stellar training camp. The odds of Rumph making his mark this year are slim, and the odds of him getting a contract extension are even slimmer.  

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers
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