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Could the Bolts Address the Offensive Line in 2024 Draft?


Welcome to Part 4 of our 2024 draft preview series, which will be a position-by-position look at key prospects and where the Chargers roster stands ahead of the NFL Draft. This series will include a look at which prospects could be options for the Chargers later this month.

We chatted with NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger to break down the interior offensive linemen in this draft class. Baldinger, one of the top trenches experts around the league, can be found on Twitter @BaldyNFL for his analysis.

Chargers status at OL

Bradley Bozeman, Brenden Jaimes, Zion Johnson, Brent Laing, Jordan McFadden, Trey Pipkins III, Jamaree Salyer, Foster Sarell and Rashawn Slater

The Bolts offensive line unit remains almost fully intact heading into the new season.

They have multiple starters returning from 2023, a group that includes Rashawn Slater, Zion Johnson, Jamaree Salyer and Trey Pipkins III.

The only addition during free agency has been center Bradley Bozeman, who could be in line to start at center. Corey Linsley is on the roster but is expected to retire.

Chargers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has noted the importance of a strong offensive line all throughout the offseason, as he believes their key will be working together as one.

"I think they're really good, I think they're really willing and then just the mentality of that group, that's like a fist, there's five of them," Harbaugh said about the offensive line during the NFL Annual League Meeting. "There's one, two, three, four, five, playing as one on that offensive line."

Improvements in the run game will also be a focus under Harbaugh, something Baldinger emphasized in his assessment of the Bolts.

"Well, they haven't run the ball well," Baldinger said. "With Harbaugh coming in, that's going to be an emphasis. Everything starts up front and it always falls on the offensive line.

"I thought they protected pretty well," Baldinger added. "Justin Herbert doesn't get sacked a lot but I think they need some upgrades. Jamaree is still a young player."

Behind the starters is 2023 fifth-round pick Jordan McFadden, who Harbaugh noted a few weeks ago he "really likes" and got some valuable experience as a starter late in 2023.

Brenden Jaimes, Foster Sarell and Brent Laing round out the group up front.

Is OL a position of need?

Even with the addition of Bozeman, Baldinger believes the center position could be a focus for the team.

Given the deep and talented center class in this year's draft, a more long-term option could be in play for the Bolts if the opportunity arises.

"Bozeman can be your stop-gap center," Baldinger said. "He was with the Ravens and they train guys well there.

"But this is a good draft for centers, a real good draft," Baldinger added. "If you don't have a great center, the offensive line is never going to be great. It starts inside for me."

The offensive line has had it's strong moments over recent years but being able to add a young player to grow with the group could be big in the long run.

"With Corey out, they were just a different team when he was in and out of the lineup," Baldinger said. "Center is a position of need for them right now."

Key draft questions

1. How would you evaluate this year's offensive tackle class?

"It looks freakishly good to me. I haven't figured out how to stack them yet but it's a really good class. I could see six or eight of them go in the first round."

2. Could a Day 2 tackle be in play for the Bolts?

"There will be a drop off but there will be quality there in the second round. Especially if the quarterbacks get pushed up and the receivers and edge guys go, some of the tackles that aren't top-15 picks might get pushed down. Baltimore is at No. 30 and I don't think they'll take a tackle. That's a team that might trade out if the Chargers wanted to trade back in and get a guy that might be dropping. There's familiarity there so maybe the Chargers take a receiver at No. 5 and then maybe trade back and get a tackle that might drop."

3. How about on the interior, is there solid mid-round depth?

"Yes, there's a lot of guys. Cooper Beebe is the top guy for me but the middle there is where a guard should get taken. Guards should be taken in the fourth round. Get some guys in there who are tough and smart and let them go battle. There's a bunch of guys there in the draft."

Expert rankings

Jeremiah currently has 11 offensive lineman in his latest overall Top 50 list, while ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr., has six in his Top 25.

The Athletic's Dane Brugler had 22 offensive linemen in his most recent Top 100 list, with the highest coming in at No. 6 (Joe Alt).

Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus has 20 total offensive linemen in the top 100 in their Big Board Rankings, with a highest of No. 5 (Alt).

Potential Chargers options

Note: Heights and weights are from each player's profile on (linked for each player's name).


School: Notre Dame | Year: Junior | Ht: 6-foot-9 | Wt: 321 pounds

2023 stats: 12 games; 713 offensive snaps at left tackle (344 run blocking; 368 pass blocking); PFF overall grade of 90.7

Quick fact: Alt saw action from the jump with the Fighting Irish, playing every year since he was a true freshman in 2021. His best season came in 2023 when he earned unanimous First-Team All-American honors.

Baldy's Breakdown: "He's a good player. To me, he's not an elite athlete. But he's smart and tough and can move."


School: Penn State | Year: Redshirt Junior | Ht: 6-foot-6 | Wt: 312 pounds

2023 stats: 12 games; 722 offensive snaps at left tackle (340 run blocking; 382 pass blocking); PFF overall grade of 78.8

Quick fact: Fashanu was stellar in his senior season as one of the anchors on Penn State's offensive line. His efforts earned him Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year Award and First-Team All-Big Ten honors as he was also a consensus All-American.

Fuaga 2

School: Oregon State | Year: Senior | Ht: 6-foot-6 | Wt: 324 pounds

2023 stats: 12 games; 700 offensive snaps at right tackle (349 run blocking; 351 pass blocking); PFF overall grade of 88.2

Quick fact: Fuaga was vital in the Beavers' success running the football over the past two years, earning First-Team Pac-12 honors in 2023 and Second-Team accolades in 2022. He played in 39 games in four years at Oregon State.

Baldy's Breakdown: "Just power. He has a nasty disposition. I think he's an elite prospect. He plays right tackle so that could be what the Chargers are looking for. I think he could be excellent opposite Rashawn."


School: Alabama | Year: Junior | Ht: 6-foot-6 | Wt: 342 pounds

2023 stats: 14 games; 874 offensive snaps at right tackle (431 run blocking; 443 pass blocking); PFF overall grade of 81.9

Quick fact: A two-year starter for the Crimson Tide, Latham held down the right side of the offensive line. He earned First-Team All-SEC nomination after allowing just two sacks in 408 regular-season pass blocking snaps.

Baldy's Breakdown: "A pure right tackle, he's just mammoth. As big as an oak tree. You just worry about rushers that have incredible suddenness. They won't run through him but he could struggle against elite movement players. He'll be fine in the run game.


School: Georgia | Year: Junior | Ht: 6-foot-8 | Wt: 340 pounds

2023 stats: 7 games; 297 offensive snaps at right tackle (129 run blocking; 168 pass blocking); PFF overall grade of 75.6

Quick fact: Mims won consecutive National Championships in 2021 and 2022 with the Bulldogs.

T Guyton

School: Oklahoma | Year: Redshirt Junior | Ht: 6-foot-8 | Wt: 322 pounds

2023 stats: 10 games; 663 offensive snaps at right tackle (307 run blocking; 355 pass blocking); PFF overall grade of 63.7

Quick fact: Guyton began his collegiate career at TCU before transferring to Oklahoma, where he played in over 400 snaps in each of the following two seasons.

Baldy's Breakdown: "A freak athlete and his best football could be in front of him."


School: Washington | Year: Senior | Ht: 6-foot-4 | Wt: 317 pounds

2023 stats: 15 games; 993 offensive snaps at left tackle (368 run blocking; 623 pass blocking); PFF overall grade of 75.1

Quick fact: Fautanu was crucial to Washington's run to the National Championship Game this past season. The winner of the Morris Trophy given to the best offensive lineman in the Pac 12, he earned All-Pac-12 First-Team honors for two consecutive seasons.


School: UConn | Year: Senior | Ht: 6-foot-3 | Wt: 317 pounds

2023 stats: 12 games; 802 offensive snaps at right guard (364 run blocking; 438 pass blocking); PFF overall grade of 80.2

Quick fact: Haynes was a reliable member of the Huskies' offensive line and finished his career with 49 straight starts. He helped the UConn offensive line allow just 12 sacks on the season.


School: Kansas State | Year: Senior | Ht: 6-foot-3 | Wt: 322 pounds

2023 stats: 13 games; 818 offensive snaps at left guard (424 run blocking; 403 pass blocking) and 124 offensive snaps at right tackle (62 run blocking; 53 pass blocking); PFF overall grade of 90.7

Quick fact: A 2023 Consensus All-American, Beebe started in 48 games for the Wildcats during his collegiate career. He was named the 2022 and 2023 Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year, one of just five players to earn the honor in consecutive seasons since the award began in 2006.

Baldy's Breakdown: "I think he can be a first-round pick just because of how wide he is and because of how he played."


School: Oregon | Year: Junior | Ht: 6-foot-3 | Wt: 328 pounds

2023 stats: Powers-Johnson saw playing time as a true freshman and continued to improve, winning the Rimington Trophy winner given to nation's best center in 2023. He became the first player in Ducks history win the award and was the fifth unanimous All-American in program history.

Quick fact: 13 games; 829 offensive snaps at center (332 run blocking; 497 pass blocking); PFF overall grade of 84.3

Baldy's Breakdown: "If you tell me he's a first-round pick, I have no problem with him going in the second half of the first round. You can plug and play that guy. He played for an elite program that ran the ball well. He's wide and takes up space and moves well enough."


School: Duke | Year: Senior | Ht: 6-foot-5 | Wt: 313 pounds

2023 stats: 9 games; 496 offensive snaps at left tackle (238 run blocking; 258 pass blocking); PFF overall grade of 75.9

Quick fact: Barton started 39 of his40 games for the Blue Devils and finished as a two-time All-America and First-Team All-ACC honoree. He mostly played left tackle but showed versatility by playing at center as a freshman.

Baldy's Breakdown: "He's projected to go inside. I haven't seen him play center so I don't know. But sometimes these guys are just natural fits there."


School: West Virginia | Year: Senior | Ht: 6-foot-3 | Wt: 313 pounds

2023 stats: 12 games; 806 offensive snaps at center (447 run blocking; 359 pass blocking); PFF overall grade of 74.5

Quick fact: Frazier was as steady as they come in his four seasons with the Mountaineers, allowing just four sacks in 47 career games (46 starts). He as a two-time All-American and three-time All-Big 12 Conference selection.

Baldy's Breakdown: "Love him. I texted a buddy of mine when I watched him and asked if he'd have any hesitancy taking him at the top of the second round. He said, 'None.' He's a very good player. Has good size, decent arm length."

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