With the 2023 NFL Draft concluding, all 32 teams are nearing their final roster. However, the Los Angeles Chargers made multiple key acquisitions after the draft, including Bryce Callahan and Kyle Van Noy.
The draft was used to address the last roster issues with the current Chargers team, but there are still areas of need for this team in the remaining free agents. Looking at the Chargers current roster, here are some subjective grades per position to help illustrate the areas of need.
Roster Grades by Position
QB – A
RB – B+
WR – B+
TE – B
O-Line – B+
Edge – A+
DT – B-
LB – B-
S – B+
Special Teams – B
The biggest weakness of the Chargers last season that still remains the same is the run defense, which should be the top priority in improving for the remaining acquisitions.
Last season, there was around $3 million left for the Chargers salary cap, which is a normal amount. The team currently has around $12 million in available salary cap, which is enough to bring in one or more new players to the squad.
John Johnson III
Of the players still available in free agency on May 30th, this one is the most realistic.
Johnson would instantly add more depth for the deep safety position that would allow superstar Derwin James to be played more in the box. Although the Chargers added veteran LB Eric Kendricks early in free agency, the loss of Drue Tranquill hurts quite a bit.
Having another proven safety in Johnson would allow James to help out in the run game more while Johnson could stay deep preventing big plays. What makes this move the most realistic is the familiarity of Johnson and head coach Brandon Staley. Johnson was a key part of Staley’s top ranked defense in 2019 for the Rams.
Charger fans have been screaming for this pickup for quite a while, with Johnson himself even hinting at it on Twitter a few weeks back.
Floyd is considered the best defensive free agent remaining, and was also on the same Rams team as Johnson and coach Staley.
He is coming off three straight 9+ sack seasons while being relatively young for an edge rusher at 30 years old. This was the one position given an A+ as the Chargers current roster currently stands, but Floyd would still be able to make a major impact.
He is primarily a pass rusher, but can be a force in the run game that would allow Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack to be used in more creative sets. The addition of Floyd would also allow 2nd round pick Tuli Tuipulotu to be used in the interior to help with the run game, giving amazing depth to the defensive line that was destroyed by injuries last season.
Hopkins is a future first ballot Hall of Famer that could fit on any roster with a good QB. He mentioned that he would enjoy playing with Justin Herbert as well as other QBs like Josh Allen.
Hopkins might be the most unrealistic as the Chargers already made a run on WRs in the draft, however having an extra hall of fame caliber player never hurts.
Run Defense, Please
In the off-season, the Chargers made a great attempt at addressing the offensive side of the ball.
The main concern left is the run defense as the linebacker core and interior lineman are still not up to par with teams like the Chiefs, Eagles, Bills and more. Late season acquisitions can be the difference in winning the Super Bowl, like Kadarius Toney with the Chiefs.
One more piece in the run game could be the difference in the 2023 Chargers season.
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Featured image courtesy of NFL.com
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