The 2023 Chargers Offensive Line: A New Strength?

The Chargers offensive line is now one of the best in the league. That hasn't always been the case.

Over the past few years, the Los Angeles Chargers offensive line has been a huge priority, transforming it from a perennial weakness into a significant strength. The team’s focused approach has seen them acquire notable talent such as guard Zion Johnson with a first-round pick and guard Jamaree Salyer with a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. The results of these efforts have been nothing short of impressive, with the Chargers now boasting a top-ten offensive line that could potentially rank even higher with a healthy roster. It’s important to keep your franchise quarterback upright and that’s exactly what the Chargers have been doing.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers
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2022 Chargers Offensive Line Performance

In 2022, the Chargers were faced with a significant challenge when left tackle Rashawn Slater sustained a left biceps tear, sidelining him for the majority of the season. This unexpected turn of events thrust the then-rookie Salyer into a starting role at the critical left tackle position. Despite the pressure, Salyer delivered commendable performances, earning him a permanent spot in the starting lineup, albeit moving inside to guard, for the upcoming season.

It might come as a surprise to some that the Bolts once again selected an offensive guard, Jordan McFadden, this time in the fifth round of the draft. But depth in the offensive line is a priceless commodity in the NFL. It offers flexibility, provides cover for injuries, and fosters healthy competition among the ranks, ultimately raising the overall level of play.

A notable bright spot from the past season was the emergence of Rashawn Slater, who, before his unfortunate injury, was nothing short of fantastic in his second season. He quickly established himself as one of the best tackles in the league. His return to form this season will undoubtedly provide quarterback Justin Herbert with more protection and confidence in the pocket.

Similarly, the performances of rookies Zion Johnson and Jamaree Salyer have been encouraging. The young linemen exhibited talent and grit, giving the Chargers hope of developing them into top-tier starters in the future.

Arguably, the star of the Chargers’ offensive line is center Corey Linsley. Consistently ranking among the top ten centers in the league, according to Pro Football Focus, Linsley has proven himself to be an invaluable asset to the Chargers’ front line. His sustained high-level performance has been crucial to the Chargers’ offensive line’s success and will continue to be in the foreseeable future.

With a healthy Rashawn Slater, the continued development of Zion Johnson and Jamaree Salyer, and the consistent brilliance of Corey Linsley, the Chargers’ offensive line is poised for greatness. A once problematic area has become a force to be reckoned with, offering the Chargers a significant advantage in the fiercely competitive world of NFL football.