It’s tough to put a positive spin on the ongoing saga with the San Diego Chargers and the left tackle position. The team has been searching through a myriad of options only to come up snake eyes at this point on all of them. Here’s exactly what the Bolts have done thus far this offseason to try and shore up one of the most important positions in the NFL today.
2013 NFL DRAFT
At first, things looked optimistic for the Chargers landing their future left tackle in the first round of the draft. Unfortunately as the process wore on, teams began to realize that the best talent in the 2013 class was in the trenches. That elevated the value of the three premium left tackles that the team was focused on and ultimately left them without a prayer of landing one. Eventually they settled on right tackle D.J. Fluker who is a top notch player, but he won’t be protecting Philip Rivers’ blindside in the upcoming season.
Even though the team signed King Dunlap early in free agency, that move seemed more like a depth signing than anything else. After reaching out to Bryant McKinnie and courting him to no avail, the options have pretty well dried up. While Max Starks and Winston Justice remain available, there has been no indication that the Bolts will pursue either of these players.
CURRENT DEPTH CHART
Obviously Dunlap is on the roster, but as mentioned above, he is a last resort type of fill-in. Both last year’s undrafted rookie Mike Harris and veteran Kevin Haslam are still around and started in 2012, but neither inspires much confidence given the 49 sack beating Rivers took under center a year ago. The well of options runs dry after those guys leaving the Bolts with arguably the worst left tackle situation of any team in the league at this point.
How will San Diego decide to address this glaring shortcoming between now and training camp? My hope still clings to Justice or Starks being given a call and recruited to at least compete for a starting gig in camp. If they fail to add any capable bodies to their current mess of a depth chart, Rivers could be running for his life on a regular basis once again in 2013.