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Brandon Staley Reconvenes With A Former Pass Rusher

Justin Hollins

The Los Angeles Chargers signed former 2019 fifth-round selection, Justin Hollins. In the corresponding move, the Chargers placed Chris Rumph II on injured reserve. Rumph, a former fourth-round selection, suffered a broken foot in pregame warmups in the loss to the Detroit Lions, leading to him being out for the rest of the season.

Hollins has plenty of familiarity with head coach, Brandon Staley, as Staley was his position coach in Denver in 2019 and his defensive coordinator in 2020. Hollins reunites with Staley and looks to strengthen the Chargers defensive line.

Justin Hollins’ Career

Hollins played with Justin Herbert at Oregon, leaving a year before Herbert in 2019. He was drafted in the fifth round by the Denver Broncos, being touted as a raw prospect with plenty of tools to become a strong player in the NFL, if he improves his technique and bolsters his size. Unfortunately, he only played one season with the Broncos, recording 21 tackles, one sack, and one tackle for loss.

Moving on from the Broncos, he followed his Coach Brandon Staley to the Los Angeles Rams, where he appeared in 34 games across two and a half seasons, as a rotational pass rusher. In his Rams tenure, he became a rotational pass rusher, with some starting experience. Hollins recorded six sacks, three forced fumbles, and 76 tackles.

Midway through the 2022 season, the Rams waived Hollins and he quickly found a home the next day in Green Bay. Hollins appeared in 10 games for the Packers, recording two and a half sacks in his ten games where he appeared.

Hollins’s unlucky streak continued, and he was released again midway through the season, this time in 2023. The Giants picked him up and he stayed on the practice squad, appearing in one game. The Chargers and Staley noticed a familiar talent hanging around a practice squad across the country and decided to steal him from the Giants practice squad, and put him on the active roster.

Justin Hollins’┬áRole

Justin Hollins made a name for himself relieving starting edge rushers, and giving teams a strong second wave of pass rush. The 27-year-old has played in different schemes, coaching staffs, and climates. Hollins has plenty of experience picking up defensive schemes quickly midseason, and it should be a faster process considering he spent two years under coach Staley.

For his specific Chargers role, he will take on the role of the EDGE4, playing behind the likes of stars: Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, and Tuli Tuipulotu. This is the same role that Chris Rumph played, where he recorded 103 snaps across six games, 63 of which as a pass rusher.

Staley recently complained about the inability to set a strong edge, and Hollins will give this team exactly what Staley wanted. A greater ability to set a strong edge, recording a strong 71 rush defense grade, as well as a 77.1 tackling grade this season with Green Bay. Justin Hollins is and has been a better rusher than Rumph, and with impressive play he can earn himself a spot on this team over the former fourth-round draft pick out of Duke, thus the future effects of this signing could be very positive, with little to no risk.

Conclusion

The former Oregon Duck will instantly give the Chargers much-needed depth in the star-studded EDGE room, likely being more productive than whom he is replacing. The Bolts hope to see Hollins pick up the playbook quickly and play meaningful snaps down the stretch of this season.

Main Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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