2020 Los Angeles Chargers Offseason Plan
OT, QB, WR, DL, CB, C, RB
Available Draft Picks:
1.6, 2.37, 3.71, 4.109, 5.151, 6.186, 7.220
Starting Cap Space:
I thought about approaching the trade up scenario here but I ultimately decided to take the approach if the Chargers were to keep all of their picks. I know that the Chargers have traded up in the past, but without an abundance of picks and holes on the roster, the best bet might be to take a more conservative approach with draft trades this offseason.
DL Brandon Mebane to save $4,250,000
LB Denzel Perryman to save $6,487,500
Brandon Mebane is 35 years old and his run defense was lackluster last season. Without much pass-rush upside or run defense, there isn’t a great reason to keep him around for his price tag anymore. Perryman is a name that if he were able to stay active for 16 games, maybe keeping him around would be a good idea but throughout his five-year career so far, he has never been active for 16 games. Account for him only being on the field for 37% of the teams defensive snaps and he clearly isn’t worth his salary.
RB Austin Ekeler for 1 year, $3,278,000 (Second-round tender)
LB Jatavis Brown for 4 years, $28,800,000 ($22M GTD)
G Michael Schofield III for 3 years, $24,000,000 ($16M GTD)
FB Derek Watt for 3 years, $5,400,000 ($4M GTD)
TE Hunter Henry for 1 year, $7,500,000 ($5M GTD)
Jatavis Brown is still young enough to become a valuable contributor to this defense with some more coaching up. Keeping him, along with the other offseason moves should get Brown on the field more this season.
Austin Ekeler was a complete superstar when he was on the field last season. As one of the best receiving backs in the NFL, Ekeler still hasn’t taken on a featured back role for an entire season, so signing him while he still is a restricted free agent allows the Chargers to keep him for another year on a cheap deal. Bringing Derek Watt back means that the Chargers are set with their lead blocker for the next few years. Michael Schofield III was an easy re-sign to make since the offensive line needs work and he’s arguably the best offensive lineman on the team. Hunter Henry comes back on a prove-it deal to see if he can stay healthy and reel in a big contract.
Free Agent Signings:
G Joe Thuney for 3 years, $37,500,000 ($30M GTD)
LB Patrick Onwuasor for 3 years, $14,400,000 ($12M GTD)
CB Bashaud Breeland for 1 year, $4,800,000 ($2.5M GTD)
As I alluded to when talking about the re-signing options, the Chargers need to strengthen their offensive line to protect whoever they have under center next season. Joe Thuney was one of the best guards in the NFL last season, so he’s a huge upgrade over Dan Feeney at left guard. Bringing in Patrick Onwuasor gives the Chargers a talented coverage linebacker who can contribute in the run game too. Onwuasor has been a consistent contributor for the Ravens over the past four years, expectations should be no different for him as a Charger. Bashaud Breeland had an up-and-down season with a big Super Bowl, he still isn’t worth a ton of money but signing him to a one-year deal gives the Chargers a potential low-level starter for a season.
Pick 1.6 – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Wirfs is an athletic monster who earned the #1 spot on Bruce Feldman’s College Football Freaks List before the 2019 season. His power is unmatched in the 2020 NFL Draft class and he offers immediate starter ability at right tackle, maybe at left too but with Russell Okung there, that isn’t a concern yet. Wirfs could possibly move to guard if he’s needed there but that’s no longer a weakness here and he’s talented enough to start at tackle immediately.
Pick 2.37 – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Jacob Eason is a pure upside pick with a bazooka for an arm. He’s not ready to play right away and should sit for at least a year while he learns how to play in the NFL. With Tyrod Taylor on the roster, he could start for the year while Eason learns behind him. Taylor keeps the team competitive and lets Eason grow, it’s a win-win pick here.
Pick 3.71 – Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
The Chargers go low-ceiling, high-floor here as they take a talented route-runner who can work either outside or from in the slot. Jefferson will likely never be a 1,000 yard receiver but he should be able to contribute 600 right out of the gate. A crisp route runner with soft hands makes him a perfect complement to Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
Pick 4.109 – Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri
With Hunter Henry extended, bringing in a rookie tight end to learn and develop behind him is a good idea. Albert O can contribute early up the seam and will make two-tight end sets in the red zone absolutely lethal.
Pick 5.151 – Bravvion Roy, DL, Baylor
Replacing Brandon Mebane with a late pick is a luxury here that the Chargers shouldn’t have but they do given how low Roy seems to be on boards at this point. A pure space eater and pocket pusher, Roy could fill in immediately as a 0- or 1-tech and clean up the run game in the middle.
Pick 6.186 – Jake Hanson, C, Oregon
Not a great mover, but Hanson is more than capable when it comes to getting his hands on his man just long enough to open the hole. Hanson has heavy hands (a plus) and heavy feet (a minus), working inside zone plays shouldn’t be an issue but I wouldn’t ask him to get moving outside too often.
Pick 7.220 – Essang Bassey, CB, Wake Forest
Bassey isn’t the kind of guys that you want starting immediately and he likely can’t contribute as a gunner early on due to his lack of physicality, but if you can get him to commit to tackling, he’s more than capable of contributing. As a nickel corner, Bassey can sit in zone and has the instincts to make a play on the ball, if you’re comfortable with his physicality, he could be an eventual contributor.
Cap Space Spent on Re-signings:
Cap Space Spent on Free Agents:
Cap Space Spent on Draft Picks:
Total Cap Remaining:
QB: Tyrod Taylor
RB: Austin Ekeler
WR1: Keenan Allen
WR2: Mike Williams
Slot: Van Jefferson
TE1: Hunter Henry
TE2: Albert Okwuegbunam
LT: Russell Okung
LG: Joe Thuney
C: Mike Pouncey
RG: Michael Schofield III
RT: Tristan Wirfs
DE: Joey Bosa
DT: Justin Jones
NT: Bravvion Roy
DE: Melvin Ingram
OLB: Thomas Davis
ILB: Patrick Onwuasor
OLB: Uchena Nwosu/Jatavis Brown
CB: Casey Hayward
CB: Bashaud Breeland
Slot CB: Desmond King
S: Derwin James
S: Rayshawn Jenkins/Nasir Adderley
K: Michael Badgley
P: Ty Long
KOS: Michael Badgley
LS: Cole Mazza
KR: Desmond King II
PR: Desmond King II