Seven NFL teams have segued from the regular season to a head coaching search. Let's take a look at where the Chargers' vacancy is ranked in comparison to the other openings:
Columnist Judy Battista views the Chargers' job as the best available:
"With rookie quarterback sensation Justin Herbert, defensive end Joey Bosa, receiver Keenan Allen and safety Derwin James providing an ultra-talented nucleus, this is viewed as a team on the rise, making this the best opening available."
Pro Football Talk
Mike Florio, too, views Los Angeles as the preferred destination for head coaching candidates. He explains:
"Why No. 1? Two words: Justin Herbert. The sixth overall pick in the 2020 draft is the real deal. He's already one of the best quarterbacks in football.
"And the roster is otherwise stocked — much more stocked than their record this year suggests. Joey Bosa. Derwin James. Keenan Allen. Mike Williams. Just to name a few."
NFL Columnist Charles Robinson also ranks the Chargers' job No. 1:
"Until this week, L.A. was always a close second or even a "1B" designation to Jacksonville in the top slot. For head coaches, it now rises above the Jaguars because candidates are coming in knowing two extremely important things: That there is a 22-year-old quarterback who has already proven he can operate in the NFL at an All-Pro level; and that the general manager, Tom Telesco, is fully in charge of the roster. That assurance in two areas of the holy trinity (GM/Coach/Quarterback) is vital."
Take a look back at the best photos of Hunter Henry from the 2020 season.
Nate Davis puts the Chargers' opening at No. 2 behind the Jacksonville Jaguars:
"They appear set at perhaps the two most important positions on a football team. QB Justin Herbert seems likely to win 2020 offensive rookie of the year honors after a record-setting season that included 31 TD passes. On the other side of the ball, Joey Bosa is one of the league's premier pass rushers – though he's only managed to play a full 16 games twice in his five-year career."
Tyler Sullivan also ranks the Bolts' vacancy right behind the Jags at No. 2:
"You'll see a theme here quite early that quarterbacks move the needle in these head-coaching destination rankings. Justin Herbert just put together arguably the greatest rookie season by a quarterback in league history and seems poised for stardom after being selected with the No. 6 overall pick last spring. Not only would a head coaching candidate get to work with Herbert as he continues his ascent, but they would adopt a club that has the eighth-most amount of cap space this offseason and a roster that could make a turnaround rather quickly, already boasting stars likes Joey Bosa, Keenan Allen, and others."
Pro Football Focus
Eric Eager has Los Angeles at No. 2 and his reasoning, like those above, leads with the quarterback:
"The Chargers appear to have hit on a quarterback with 2020 sixth overall pick Justin Herbert, who averaged 7.3 yards per pass attempt (17th) and threw 31 touchdowns (10th). They have a great weapon on the outside for him in Keenan Allen, who recently signed an extension, and a defense full of great players — such as Joey Bosa and Casey Hayward Jr."