The Los Angeles Chargers now find themselves in pretty clearly the toughest division in football. They have already taken great strides to improve their defense this offseason in order to stop the other high-powered offenses, but they also have to make sure that theirs can keep up.
The Chargers have one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL in Justin Herbert. The priority needs to be to keep him protected. Last year, the Chargers made a big move to do that by selecting Rashawn Slater in the first round. Slater has been a great addition, but following the release of veteran right tackle, Bryan Bulaga, the Chargers need an anchor on the other end of the line.
Trevor Penning is described by many as the nastiest player in the 2022 NFL Draft. For an offensive lineman, that is a great compliment. Penning is a fierce competitor who plays to and through the whistle down after down. He has great size, effective balance in pass protection and impressive agility as a mover. Despite playing left tackle at Northern Iowa, I think Penning is a perfect fit at right tackle for the Los Angeles Chargers.
The second quarterback off the board, Kenny Pickett goes to New Orleans in a perfect fit for both sides. Pickett goes to a team that likely will have a solid bridge quarterback in place with the Saints expressing interest in bringing Jameis Winston back, and the Saints get a quarterback prospect that is well-rounded and could become a very quality starter early in his career.
Kenny Pickett had a break out 2021 season, putting up some impressive numbers as a senior at Pittsburgh. Pickett is an experienced and cerebral player that effectively operates an offense. He is a very effective runner and has an impressive arm with enough zip to make all NFL throws.
Much has been made of Pickett’s record-low hand size measurement, but clearly the guy can still play. He did have some ball security issues at times, but he played in inclement weather in Pittsburgh and still performed at a high level. Playing in a dome in the NFC South will certainly help mitigate any sort of issues his hand size might have caused.
For the New Orleans Saints, who narrowly missed out on Deshaun Watson, finding a long-term answer at quarterback seems like a priority. However, they have a roster that is capable of winning now, so bringing in a developed and experienced rookie should allow them to capitalize with him on the field during his rookie contract, even if it is after a bridge year with Winston.