A trio of Chargers rank among the best in the league.
Pro Football Focus's Sam Monson recently released his annual Top 50 players list, with the Bolts being well-represented by having three players make Sam Monson's list.
The highest-ranking member of the Bolts was safety Derwin James, Jr., who came in at No. 17 and was the highest-ranked safety on Monson's list.
James continues to ascend not only as a safety, but also as a versatile player who can line up just about anywhere on the defensive side of the ball. The Chargers safety, who's entering his sixth season in the league, looks to build off of a big 2022 where he continued to show why is one of the more dynamic defensive players in football.
His versatility and consistency in his game are some of the many reasons Monson has James ranked as the best safety in the NFL.
Don't look now, but we've finally had a run of relatively healthy Derwin James after injuries threatened to completely derail his career and limited him to just 299 snaps in two years. He has played over 800 snaps in each of the last two and consistently posted excellent PFF grades in all facets of the game. He can do everything in the secondary for the Chargers and even has 44 total pressures and 11 sacks in the equivalent of three full seasons of play.
Take a look at some of the best shots of Derwin James' 2023 offseason
The next member of the team on the list was outside linebacker Joey Bosa, who ended up at No. 30.
Bosa is still a dominant and important player for the Bolts despite missing most of last season with a groin injury.
When he's played, he's produced and has showed that he is still one of the best pass rushers in the NFL.
Injuries have knocked Joey Bosa down this list, but he is still one of the most destructive defensive linemen in the game when he is healthy. The Chargers star played just six games in 2022 but earned three consecutive 90.0-plus pass-rushing grades before that. His younger brother, Nick, is now drawing all the attention, but Joey is still a force in his own right.
Take a look at the Chargers Defense in uniform at Media Day 2023
And the final Chargers addition to the list was quarterback Justin Herbert, who was ranked No. 35 — and the fourth quarterback on the list.
The list of accomplishments through three years for Herbert is long — and he's gotten better every year.
Now in Year 4 and with a new offensive coordinator in Kellen Moore, there's a chance for him to take it to another level and rise on this list, according to Monson.
Any analysis of how good Justin Herbert is needs to factor in the rib injury he played through for most of last season. Torn rib cartilage is the type of injury that would keep normal people sidelined from an ordinary job, yet Herbert passed for over 5,000 yards, including the playoffs, while gutting it out. He has now had the lowest turnover-worthy play rate (1.6 percent) in each of the past two seasons, and the Chargers have brought in new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to try and tap into his full potential in 2023.
To read Monson's full rankings, click here.
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