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Chargers get Justin Herbert more protection with selection of G Zion Johnson

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Justin Herbert has been sacked 63 times.

That’s all you need to know as to why the Los Angeles Chargers used their first round pick on an offensive lineman for the second-straight season.

With the 17th overall pick of the NFL draft, the Chargers selected 6-foot-3, 314-pounder Zion Johnson out of Boston College. Last year, LA selected LT Rashawn Slater with the No. 13 overall pick. The selections are smart if the Chargers want to make sure their quarterback can walk in the coming years.

Herbert is the face of the Chargers franchise and they value him, as they should, with the pick of Johnson. The big offensive guard was a first-team All-American and played three years with the Eagles after a short time in junior college.

NFL.com describes Johnson like this:

The phrase “phone booth guard” was made for Johnson thanks to his wide, girthy frame and immense playing power. Johnson has experience at tackle, but he’s clearly an interior blocker on the next level. He has knock-back pop at the point of attack with the ability to win the block in a test of strength. In space, his limitations become obvious. He’ll need to fit into the right scheme that takes advantage of what he does well and diminishes the athletic limitations. He has a ceiling of starting guard in the NFL, but his ability to deal with the athleticism of NFL defensive linemen on all three downs is a concern both as a run blocker and in pass protection.

There are still two days and six rounds remaining for the Chargers to draft additional help for the former Oregon Duck. Thanks to previous trades, they have nine picks left to do with as they please. Los Angeles did trade some picks for Bears linebacker Khalil Mack last month. It’s a good bet they will trade for more talent in the coming days.

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