Chargers Official Site | Los Angeles Chargers -

NFL Media Grades the Chargers First Round Selection

Draft grades round 1

Before we turn the page to day two of the NFL Draft, let's take a look at how NFL analysts are grading the Chargers first-round selection of Zion Johnson.

Take a look below as NFL writers from, CBS, Bleacher Report give out letter grades an analysis on Johnson getting selected to join the powder blues in Los Angeles.

Grade: A


"Leading up to the draft, I thought Johnson would be a good fit for the Chargers because he fills a big hole at right guard. I've graded him as a first-round pick for quite a while because he's smart, hard-working, experienced and does not give ground to any defensive lineman. He's a 10-year starter with Pro Bowl potential. The Bolts may still look to add a right tackle, but the team can find value at that spot later in the draft."

Grade: A


"Johnson actually played left tackle during the 2020 campaign and performed admirably. But his skill set clearly translates to the interior, where he can be a physical force at any of the three positions. Granted, Johnson is the class' best guard. But he showed plenty of versatility when he took over snapping duties while at the Senior Bowl.

As powerful as the first-team All-American is, he can be a tone-setter in the run game and consistently help to set the pocket in pass protection. In fact, Johnson allowed only six pressures last season, according to Pro Football Focus. The Los Angeles Chargers have an interesting decision in front of them after drafting Johnson.

The coaching staff can immediately insert the rookie into the left guard spot and bump Matt Feiler to right tackle, where he's previously experienced success as a member of the Pittsburgh Stelers. Or, Johnson can play right guard and solidify the interior, though right tackle would remain a problem area.

Either way, the Chargers are now much stronger along the interior because Johnson looks like a future 10-year starter."

Grade: B+


"They have to protect their quarterback. This is a player who can play guard, tackle, center for the Chargers. This was about making their line better for Justin Herbert. I love Johnson. position versatility is important. He brings it."

Grade: A


"A year ago, the Chargers hit a home run with Rashawn Slater. L.A. might have duplicated that selection with the burly Johnson, whose girth, power and intangibles made him one of the safer prospects in this draft. Whether at guard or center — Johnson can play both — the Chargers got tougher up front and accomplished their No. 1 goal of protecting the investment in."

Grade: B


"The Chargers need help on the offensive line and get a versatile plug-and-play starter at guard. The former Boston College standout has heavy hands and plenty of power and could play either tackle or center in a pinch. It's not a sexy pick, but he's my top-ranked guard and should help protect Justin Herbert from day one."

Bolt Up for 2022!

Secure your 2022 Season Ticket Memberships today! Click here to learn more.

Related Content

From Our Partners