Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

PFF Assigns Chargers Biggest Team Need

According to Pro Football Focus, the biggest team need for the Los Angeles Chargers is the interior defensive line.
Chargers Team Need

The offseason is almost underway, and the Los Angeles Chargers front office is hard at work addressing the biggest needs of the team. According to Pro Football Focus, if the Chargers want to turn things around, they’ll need to start in the trenches. In a recent article, the football website declared that the Chargers most pressing issue is to fix the interior defensive line, and it’s hard to argue against that.

PFF: Chargers Biggest Team Need Is Interior Defensive Line

On paper, having a gaping hole at interior defensive line is a good problem to have. After all, the Chargers have their franchise quarterback, so they’ll always be competitive as long as Justin Herbert is on the field. However, the Chargers defensive tackles are so bad that they basically need to revamp the entire position in one offseason.

Last year, the team allowed a league-worst 5.4 yards per carry and 0.038 EPA/rush attempt, which ranked 29th in the league. Most of this was due to the objectively terrible play of the defensive line. No matter who was lined up in the trenches, the Chargers simply didn’t have a player that was consistently able to hold their own against double teams and close down rushing lanes.

While the run game is definitely the biggest issue, the defensive tackles weren’t particularly great at getting after the quarterback either. According to PFF, the only defensive tackle that recorded more than 20 pressures was Morgan Fox, and he’s a free agent. So, in summation, Los Angeles couldn’t generate any pressure from the interior, and they weren’t able to stop the run. The position is clearly the weak point on what is otherwise a pretty strong roster, but how could the team go about fixing this glaring flaw?

How the Chargers Can Fix Their Defense

The Chargers could use another defensive tackle or two, but they’ll need to get creative about how they address the position. The team is currently well above the salary cap, and while they could cut some players or trade JC Jackson, the fact remains that they won’t be able to break the bank for the best of the best.

In a perfect world, they’ll be able to re-sign Morgan Fox to a team-friendly deal. While his subpar run defense means he’ll never be an ideal three-down player, he is good at getting to the quarterback, and there is definitely a spot for situational pass rushers in today’s NFL. However, there is a chance that Fox earns a larger contract than the Chargers are willing to pay, and the team cannot afford to get into a bidding war over Fox.

With that in mind, Los Angeles might target somebody like Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Matthew Ioannidis. The impending free agent is no superstar, but he’ll likely come cheap and 2022 proved that he can still be an adequate starter. The Chargers don’t need to find the second-coming of Aaron Donald, they just need competent play.

Of course, the best way to find starting-caliber play on a friendly budget is through the NFL Draft. Based on current mock draft trends, the best player likely to be available to the Chargers is Baylor defensive tackle Siaki Ika. Ika simply never loses in the trenches, consistently holding his ground against double teams, and should be able to start right out of the gate. The team probably shouldn’t take him in the first round, as they’d be better off investing in a premium position. However, if he’s still there in the second, he’s a no-brainer selection.

Main Photo: Mark J Rebilas – USA Today Sports


More Posts

Cardinals quarterbacks Joshua Dobbs (9) and Kyler Murray

The Cardinals Quarterback Conundrum

The Arizona Cardinals have a quarterback conundrum. Will Kyler Murray be the odd-man out, or will they roll the dice with Josh Dobbs. With Caleb Williams potentially available, will both be out in 2024.

Send Us A Message