Los Angeles Chargers 2022 training camp preview
The Los Angeles Chargers are going into the 2022 season with second-year head coach Brandon Staley and third-year quarterback Justin Herbert. The team underperformed last year with a 9-8 record. They lost the last game of the season which cost them a trip to the playoffs. However, the team is looking promising this year as Herbert continues to ascend into superstardom. The wide receiver room continues to grow and the running back room has improved. Importantly, the Los Angeles Chargers might have a defense in 2022. They had three huge offseason acquisitions in Khalil Mack, Sebastian Joseph-Day, and JC Jackson. If Los Angeles can get some production on the defensive side of the ball then people will finally get to see Herbert play in January.
3 Position Battles To Watch
Running Back: Austin Ekeler, Isaiah Spiller
This is not the traditional position battle to see who will start. Without a doubt, Ekeler will be the Chargers starting running back. However, it will be interesting to see if Spiller has been relegated to a definitive backup role or if he can push for a semi-two-back system. The Chargers will feed Ekeler when they can, especially in the passing game. Spiller may be able to chip away at some of Ekeler’s total snap count and total touches.
Right Tackle: Storm Norton, Jamaree Salyer
The offensive line is one of the weaker spots on the Chargers team and the right tackle position is the weakest spot on the offensive line. Los Angeles is trying to fix their offensive line as they drafted guard Zion Johnson in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft. They went guard and did not focus on the tackle position in the early rounds of the draft. Now, it will come down to who can win the position battle and perform on the field. Storm Norton has been with the Chargers the last two years and he has the starting spot. However, the Chargers drafted Jamaree Salyer in the sixth round. Although a late-round draft pick this offensive lineman from Georgia can make some waves at camp
Left Defensive End: Jerry Tillery, Christian Covington
This position is one of the weakest spots on the newly rebuilt Chargers defense. Tillery is the starter as of right now but this 2019 NFL draft first-round pick has been a bit underwhelming with his play. Covington has been a journeyman over the years as he has played for four teams in seven years. However, Covington played well for the Chargers last year despite only starting three games. Whoever wins the job will be in good shape to perform on the field with a lot of attention being given to Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack.
Ready To Breakout: Asante Samuel Jr.
Asante Samuel Jr. had a solid rookie year in 2021. He was a second-round pick because he is undersized and people thought he couldn’t defend outside wide receivers. However, Samuel Jr. was effective as a slot corner and when he was matched up outside. He had two interceptions and 11 passes defended in just 12 games. These numbers will increase in year two and Samuel Jr. will take a big leap next year. He will be receiving help from the Chargers’ improved pass rush with Bosa, Mack, and Joseph-Day. Also, having a ball hawk like JC Jackson on the other side of the field will help Samuel Jr.
Rookie To Watch: Isaiah Spiller
Isaiah Spiller was selected in the fourth round of the 2022 draft. He is a late-round 2022 draft pick that possesses a high upside for the Chargers. Spiller is a skilled running back with good size, vision, and wiggle. He was drafted to a wonderful situation with the superstar talent of Herbert and a plethora of weapons on offense. Spiller should see a solid amount of snaps throughout the year and he may develop as a pass-catcher. If Ekeler were to miss time Spiller would be inheriting the lead-back role on one of the most high-powered offenses in the league.
Fantasy Sleeper: Joshua Palmer
Palmer can be an interesting late draft sleeper. He is a late-round long shot that is worth it. Palmer is the wide receiver three on one of the top offenses in the league. He put up modest numbers in his rookie season last year when he only started five games. In 2022, his playing time will increase and therefore his volume should increase. Palmer has good hands and speed that will help him become a bigger target for Herbert. He has a good chance to become an effective third option for the Los Angeles Chargers and a wide receiver three in fantasy.
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