The Chargers appear to be coming into the 2022 season as one of the most talented teams in the NFL.
Following the offseason additions to fortify their roster, the Bolts enter this year with high expectations — and with one of the league's strongest rosters, too.
That's the vibe from ESPN's Mike Clay, who recently compiled his rankings for the position groups of all 32 teams. Clay went through the 10 key positions on both offense and defense for each team and concluded with an overall, cumulative ranking of all the teams.
Count Clay as a big fan of the Bolts, as he had them as his No. 2 overall squad in his rankings.
With the season inching closer, 2022 could a big year for the Bolts — and Clay believes that they have enough talent to be one of the last teams standing.
The Chargers were highlighted through this piece. At this point, it should be clear that they're finally ready to compete in a very tough AFC…We watched [Chargers Head Coach Brandon] Staley (then a defensive coordinator) lead the Rams to an elite defensive season in 2020, and he's now perfectly positioned to lead the Chargers to a Super Bowl run in 2022.
While the Chargers ranked in the top seven in Clay's quarterback, wide receiver, offensive line and cornerback position rankings, a different group stood out the most.
According to Clay, the Bolts have the No. 1 edge rusher group in the league.
Speaking of the most improved defense, the Chargers traded for Khalil Mack during the offseason, and he joins Joey Bosa to form the league's best edge-rushing duo. Mack's 80.5 sacks since he was drafted in 2014 ranks fourth in the NFL, whereas Bosa sits sixth with 58.0 sacks since he was drafted in 2016. Both are coming off a strong 2021 season, each having ranked top 25 in pass rush win rate and top 20 in sacks.
Sitting at No. 1 in the edge rusher rankings, the Chargers addition of Mack was the difference maker for Clay in his rankings. With Bosa on the other side, they have an opportunity to wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines.
The edge seems to be figured out for the Chargers, but for Clay, the interior defensive line is the "Unit to Watch" in his rankings.
The front office addressed the issue admirably during the offseason, adding aforementioned Joseph-Day, Austin Johnson, versatile Morgan Fox and fifth-round rookie Otito Ogbonnia to a rotation that includes incumbent Jerry Tillery and Christian Covington. The new-look unit has plenty to prove, but it's a major upgrade on the 2021 personnel and helps fill out the league's most improved defense.
The position group has been one of the fiercer battles in training camp. The Bolts are coming into the season with an expectation that these additions will help improve that position, which is why Clay has labeled it as such.
Clay's full rankings can be found here.
Check out the best shots from the Chargers Preseason Week 2 game against the Dallas Cowboys
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