In 2016, the Chargers improved their pass rush with the addition of Joey Bosa with the third overall choice. They got better on the back end of their defense this season by drafting safety Derwin James, one of the favorites for defensive rookie of the year, with the 17th pick. But the Chargers still need help at linebacker.
The Chargers’ top linebackers — Kyzir White, Denzel Perryman and Jatavis Brown — ended the season on injured reserve.
Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco acknowledged the team has to get better and deeper at the position in 2019.
“We didn’t quite recover from [those injuries],” Telesco said, via Sam Fortier of The Athletic. “[Linebacker] is one particular group we need to focus on pretty heavily in the offseason.”
The Chargers shifted Kyle Emanuel from outside linebacker to inside linebacker and used seven defensive backs against the Ravens. Los Angeles’ lack of depth at linebacker proved costly against Tom Brady and the Patriots.
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn commented on how his injured linebackers “would have made a difference” last week.
Perryman and Emanuel are scheduled to become free agents in the offseason, and White and Brown have unclear timetables to return, per Fortier. That makes the position a priority for the Chargers.