The Los Angeles Chargers roster currently has plenty of star talent to go around on it, some of which were acquired just this off-season. That leaves no shortage of players that are still trying to make their mark – some getting closer to success than others. Let’s take a look and see among those Los Angeles Chargers players who all are most likely to break out – not necessarily to stardom level in all cases, but to reliable starter level.
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Most Likely Los Angeles Chargers Players to Have Breakout Season in 2022
This has been discussed at greater length, but Everett – a new Chargers acquisition this off-season – can reasonably be expected to break out this season and more firmly make his way as a recognizable name among tight ends. He has yet to cross 500 receiving yards in a season, but that is due to either having been in offenses that did not emphasize the tight end position – or where he was sharing targets at tight end with somebody else.
Here there is no such competition, and Justin Herbert has shown he likes to target the tight end position – however, in 2021 Jared Cook was not always on the same page with him and was arguably past his prime anyway. Everett is still in his late 20’s and we almost assuredly have not seen his ceiling yet. Expect him to have at least 600-700 receiving yards this year.
This is also a bit of a case where a breakout is not only hoped for but kind of needed in Adderley’s case. He is in the final year of his rookie deal, and he has yet to live up to his second-round pick status. Head coach Brandon Staley has shown plenty of faith in him and has not introduced much in the way of outright competition either this year or last at the free safety spot.
To be fair, Adderley has shown improvement with each year. After missing almost all of his rookie season, his sophomore season saw him be rather shaky but make a few big plays. 2021 saw him improve further, as he improved quite a bit on tackling and was in on nearly 100 tackles. His coverage improved as well, though he still got burned on the occasional big play and also struggled to catch interceptions that were there for the taking. While he has definitely crossed the threshold of no longer being a liability, he does need to see some further improvement to firmly solidify his status as a viable starting safety in this league – and possibly his future with the Chargers.
Asante Samuel Jr.
Unlike the other two players in question, Asante Samuel Jr isn’t really in need of a breakout, seeing as he is only in his sophomore year. However, he got off to a promising start in his rookie year and seems to be well on his way to having a proper breakout. In September 2021 he had interceptions in back-to-back games against Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes and was named Defensive Rookie of the Month. Unfortunately, later in the season he got bogged down by injury and failed to be as consistent.
In 2022, he appears to be set as the CB2 opposite J.C. Jackson, with maybe some occasional slot reps. This is ideal for him as Jackson shadowing the opposing WR1 will take some degree of pressure off Samuel, given that in 2021 he was in the running for best cornerback on the team (Michael Davis being the other competitor). The improved pass rush should also force more errant throws and give Samuel (among others) more opportunities for interceptions. There isn’t much doubt to begin with, but 2022 should solidify Samuel’s place as a legit starting cornerback.
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