The Los Angeles Chargers are signing former Vikings and Cardinals Linebacker, Blake Lynch according to Aaron Wilson. A former undrafted linebacker out of Baylor, who is now going into his fourth season. Two years with the Minnesota Vikings, and one with the Arizona Cardinals practice squad.
What New Chargers Signee Blake Lynch Brings to the Team
Lynch is a 6’3″ 225 linebacker who has recently played for the Cardinals practice squad. Lynch has played under Ryan Ficken for the Vikings special teams, leading to his connection and signing with the Chargers. During his time with the Vikings, he started seven games, six of which came in 2021. During that six-game stretch, Lynch played pretty well, earning himself a 64.6 PFF grade for the entirety of the season.
He recorded 35 tackles, two sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, and one tackle for loss in 2021. These stats are pretty impressive considering he wasn’t the featured Vikings defender by any means. As for advanced stats, he wasn’t great in coverage as he gave up eight completions on eleven targets for 51 yards. On the flipside, he didn’t give up any touchdowns, or miss any tackles during the entire 2021 season.
- Size – 6’3 225
- Speed – Last 40 time available was a laser time in high school, running a 4.51.
- Versatile – Can play multiple positions on both sides of the ball, mainly at linebacker
- Special Teams Ace – 342 Special Teams snaps in 2021
- Great Tackler – Never missed a tackle in his career according to PFR.
- Coverage ability has ups and downs
- Jack of all trades master of none
- Did not play in 2022
With the Chargers signing of Blake Lynch, this means they are currently at the maximum 90-man roster limit. If the Chargers wanted to add someone of the likes of John Johnson III, they would have to cut someone. This signing also puts the Chargers at nine inside linebackers.
Some of the notable names are Eric Kendricks, Daiyan Henley, Kenneth Murray, Nick Niemann, and Amen Ogbongbemiga. Lynch will be competing with the likes of Niemann and Ogbongbemiga, as well as the other undrafted rookies. If the Chargers keep five linebackers as they have had before, this would mean either a very surprising cut would happen, or one of the aforementioned Niemann, Ogbongbemiga, and Lynch would be cut.
Nick Niemann is much less likely to be cut than any of the previously mentioned linebackers, as he was the Chargers’ best special teams player last year. The 25-year-old 2021 sixth-round selection has impressed on special teams, as well as his limited snaps on defense. He also has an insane 9.51 RAS score, showing his athletic potential. Out of the three, I would highly doubt he would be the one selected to be cut.
Amen Ogbongbemiga also has an intriguing case. He has been talked about very well by the Chargers coaching staff. He has played more special teams snaps than Neimann as well. Amen brings more of a traditional linebacker mold to this team, being a better run-stuffer, that can also get to the quarterback. Niemann may have him beat in coverage and RAS, but Ogbongbemiga has shown the ability to play some snaps at linebacker if need be.
All in all, it will come down to all three of these linebackers’ training camp and preseason performances. At the very least one of these players will make it, but which will it be? That is up to Brandon Staley and his fellow coaches.
Ryan Ficken has left his mark for this Los Angeles Chargers team, completely turning around what was once an awful special teams corp, to a very good one. He has hand-picked his former special teams and defensive role player, Blake Lynch to be a part of this 2023 Chargers squad. There is a great chance that he is just a camp body, and someone they can cut and sign back in the regular season if (knock on wood) someone goes down with an injury. Overall, the impact of the Chargers signing Blake Lynch is up to Lynch’s performance in front of this coaching staff.
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