Chargers OL Still In Need of Reinforcements

By Shane Anderson

The past couple of seasons the San Diego Chargers’ offensive line has been adequate at best, a far cry from the road plowing group which was in place for Ladainian Tomlinson’s stellar year in 2006. As a result the Chargers rushing attack has suffered. Tomlinson’s numbers began to prematurely dwindle, Ryan Mathews has struggled when healthy to find the gaping holes the Bolts line once created.

This unit has turned into a soft, pass protect first line. Philip Rivers, as a result, has suffered the most, by getting constant pressure from opposing defenses as they can sell out on the pass rush, not having to account for a once potent rushing attack.

This season, with Mathews growing and looking to have his best year yet as a pro, the Chargers would benefit immensely from upgrading the big men up front. While anchored by the steady Nick Hardwick, the left side of the line appears to be the strength, with a redeemed Jared Gaither playing well, Tyronne Green appears to be growing up to his potential, but may be better utilized as a backup. The right side consists of a potentially solid Louis Vasquez, and a pitiful leaving much to be desired Jeromey Clary at tackle. With this group, Gaither and Hardwick are the only real studs and the three other positions could use upgrades, ones which would be greatly welcomed by Mathews in the backfield.

So, the question is made, do the Chargers address the need in fortifying the Offensive Line in the first round? Or do they wait till the middle to late rounds and thus create some competition in training camp? Either way, the line which is in tack now is average at best, and the organization as a whole would be benefactors of improving it.

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