Trey Pipkins Potential With The Chargers

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Chargers Helmets In The End Zone. Photo Credit: Jeremy Wilburn - Under Creative Commons License

Trey Pipkins Potential With The Chargers

The Los Angeles Chargers have one of the top offenses in the NFL but needed to upgrade their offensive line to stay competitive. They surprised many by selecting left tackle Trey Pipkins from the University of Sioux Falls in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft. This left many scratching their heads as Sioux Falls is a small school which usually does not produce draft picks so high. However, he may not be as much of a reach as people think.

High School

He had a very successful high school career at Apple Valley High School in Apple Valley, Minnesota. He was a part of a resurgence at the school which made the playoffs for the first time in 19 years when he was a junior in 2012. He blossomed as a senior by paving the way for a school record of consecutive 150-yard performances. He displayed his versatility by catching a touchdown pass in a playoff game. He also won a state title in basketball and competed in track and field while in high school.

College

After redshirting in his freshman year, he appeared in 10 games the following year and did not allow a single sack. He was named All-NSIC second team the following year as he started 10 games and led the third most productive rushing unit in the nation with 308.1 yards per game. He was once again named All-NSIC second team in 2017 while allowing just one sack.

He made first-team All-American in 2018 as his offense ranked fifth in the league in scoring at 33.8 points per game. They ranked fifth in the NCAA D II in rushing with 274.2 yards per game. He finished third in the Upshaw Award voting, which is awarded to the nation’s top offensive lineman in Division II.

Potential In The NFL

The Chargers may have found a hidden gem in the 3rd round of the NFL Draft. He has good height for an offensive tackle but can fill up his 309 lb frame. He performed poorly on the bench press with just 16 reps but ran a respectable 5.12 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

While Sioux Falls typically runs out of a shotgun formation, their offensive line is usually in a three-point stance. This should make his transition to the NFL easier as offenses are always expanding yet coaches crave offensive linemen with a history of a three-point stance.

He is a noted finisher who plays until the whistle and has good knee bend for leverage. His feet are always moving which is critical for an offensive lineman. Unfortunately, he is a bit heavy footed and can be exposed to explosive pass rushers.

He appears to be a coachable player who can make an impact in the NFL after a season of grooming. He was slight reach in the 3rd round but may be the Chargers left tackle of the future. If he can improve his quickness and strength then he can become the anchor of the Chargers offensive line.

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Chargers Helmets In The End Zone. Photo Credit: Jeremy Wilburn – Under Creative Commons License