The 2023 season is rapidly approaching, as only one preseason game remains before the Bolts open the regular season against the Dolphins on September 10.
As teams continue to prepare for Week 1, NFL analysts and publications have released their preseason power rankings. The Chargers are once again in the upper tier as they range between No. 8 and No. 12 in the rankings.
Pro Football Focus' Amelia Probst is high on the Bolts ahead of the season, as they came in at No. 8 in her rankings. Probst looked at each team's draft class and who will have the biggest impact on the team in their rookie season.
The answer for the Bolts? Wide receiver Quentin Johnston.
Johnston forced 19 missed tackles on just 60 receptions and averaged 17.8 yards per catch in 2022. Among the projected first-round wide receivers, Johnston led the way in yards after the catch per reception and missed tackles forced per reception — two areas the Chargers underperformed in last year. He should be an instant contributor and add a vertical element to the team that has been missing for quite some time.
Check out the best shots from the Chargers Preseason Week 2 game against the Saints at SoFi Stadium
Like Probst, Sharp Football Analysis writer Raymond Summerlin also had the Chargers slotted in at No. 8, as he believes the addition of Kellen Moore could turn the Bolts offense into one of the best units in the league.
The free Justin Herbert campaign finally paid off, and it sounds like he will be allowed to throw it beyond the line of scrimmage under new coordinator Kellen Moore. They will need better health luck than last season, but the talent is there for this offense to be among the best. The defense might not have that high of a ceiling, but they have stars of their own and will be set up even better if J.C. Jackson returns healthy and back to form.
NFL.com's Eric Edholm rounded out the power rankings, placing the Chargers at No. 12.
Edholm's analysis back in early August centered around a key position group of the Bolts, as the return of J.C. Jackson to the defensive back group, in addition to the depth, could make a difference in 2023.
If the other Bolts DBs stay healthy, Michael Davis and Asante Samuel Jr. are a capable duo outside, and Ja'Sir Taylor and Deane Leonard are pushing for playing time. There's no doubt the Chargers would love a healthy Jackson making plays and returning some value on his massive contract. But you can't blame them even a little if they choose to bring Jackson along very gradually.
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