Ranking the Chargers’ 6 best offseason acquisitions

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·4 min read
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The Chargers’ offseason moves are essentially over.

Looking to make some noise this upcoming season, general manager Tom Telesco made a handful of moves to reconstruct an already talented roster.

To get a feel for my thoughts on Telesco’s free agency and draft haul, I ranked the six best moves that he made.

6. Signing Oday Aboushi

Detroit Lions via AP

The Chargers failed to get consistency at the right guard position from Trai Turner last season. The team released Turner and went out and signed Aboushi in correspondence. Aboushi stepped into a starting role in the second half of the year for the Lions in 2020 and thrived. On 1,875 total snaps, Aboushi has only blown 33 blocks (19 pass, 14 run). Aboushi will have some competition in training camp, as he will have to fend off fifth-round pick Brenden Jaimes. But given the fact that he is coming off his best season yet, Aboushi should lock up the starting spot.

5. Re-signing Michael Davis

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Chargers had a handful of players that departed this offseason, but the team made sure to retain one of their best on the defensive side of the ball from last season, locking Davis up to a three-year deal. After originally signing with Los Angeles as an undrafted free agent in 2017, Davis gradually showed to be capable as a starter, slowing some of the league’s top receivers and making big plays in critical situations. Now as a No. 1 corner, Davis will be an integral piece of head coach Brandon Staley's defense.

4. Signing Matt Feiler

AP Photo/Don Wright

A part of the revamping of the offensive line included signing Feiler, who may have been one of the most underrated acquisitions. Feiler helped the Steelers offensive line hold opponents to the fewest sacks in the NFL over the past three seasons. In 1,499 pass-blocking snaps, Feiler only blew 31. In 903 run-blocking snaps, he only blew eight. Even though he was brought in to start along the interior, Feiler played great football at both tackle and guard spots with Pittsburgh in 40 starts, demonstrating great position versatility. His consistency in pass protection and run-blocking, durability and ability to fill in at multiple spots along the line will go a long way at maintaining much-needed competency up front.

3. Drafting Asante Samuel Jr.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Even after extending Davis, the Chargers still needed to address the cornerback position to fill a glaring hole left by Casey Hayward, who was released earlier this year. Instead of digging into the free agency pool for another veteran, Los Angeles struck gold with the selection of Samuel Jr., who surprisingly fell to them in the second-round. Size concerns likely forced the slide, but that never held him back at Florida State as he stymied top receivers on a weekly basis en route to posting 97 tackles, 29 passes defensed and four interceptions over 31 games. Now in the best situation possible by playing for Staley, Samuel Jr.’s skillset coupled with his natural talent could put him over the top, projecting as a play-making corner from inside the slot or along the boundary.

2. Drafting Rashawn Slater

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Who's going to be the Chargers' starting left tackle in 2021? That was the commonly asked question the entire offseason. After neglecting it in free agency, all attention turned to the draft. Pegged as a clear fit for Los Angeles but a player who was unlikely to be available at No. 13, the team's wishes came true as the former Northwestern product fell into their lap. While there were concerns with his lack of height and arm length which had many plugging him as a guard, the tape showed a guy who can get the job done on each snap on the outside. Slater’s light feet, balance and technically-refined and heavy hands make him an exciting blindside pass protector for young star quarterback Justin Herbert for the foreseeable future.

1. Signing Corey Linsley

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The best move made by the Chargers this offseason was among the first moves, inking arguably the league's best center to a five-year deal on Day 1 of the free agency period. After having some of the worst production at the position, Los Angeles now has the cream of the crop. Linsley allowed just four total pressures last season on 437 pass-blocking snaps — the lowest pressure total in the NFL. L.A. now has a dependable and consistent presence to anchor their offensive line. Linsley made Aaron Rodgers very happy for a long time in Green Bay, and he’ll do the same for Herbert.

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