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Revisiting Chargers 2023 Day Two Predictions – Biggest Steal in Chargers History?

Can these two draft picks in 2023 can be core pieces towards the Chargers rebuild into the 2024 season and beyond?
chargers draft

Many say that 2024 is the year for the Chargers to rebuild, starting with their spectacular hiring of Head Coach Jim Harbaugh and General Manager, Joe Hortiz. Although, what if I told you that the rebuild really started in 2023? The 2023 Chargers draft was extremely up and down with its selections, with the first round being t𒁃he most talked about selection of possibly the entire draft. However, day two started off extremely strong for the former Chargers’ regime of Brandon Staley and Tom Telesco. These two players can be core pieces towards the Chargers rebuild into the 2024 season and beyond.

Read: Original Stat Line Predictions

Chargers Draft Selection: Tuli Tuipulotu

When the Bolts took USC draft selection, Tuli Tuipulotu, many were a little stunned as he wasn’t the biggest name left on the board, and at the time it seemed odd taking an EDGE rusher in the second round when the team had Joey Bosa and Khalil Mack. However, with both of their ages and considerable injury history, the selection still didn’t bother the majority of the fanbase. Just a year later, and this could end up being the very best defensive selection of Tom Telesco’s lengthy career.

Tuli Tuipolutu’s Predicted Stateline + Excerpt From Original Predictions

“Tuipulotu is a very talented rusher who is versatile enough to play both the 4i role and the pure EDGE role. With his versatility, he brings a quick first step and explosion to lead to a very strong speed-to-power move that can bulldoze opposing offensive tackles.

His role with this team is likely as the EDGE3 behind the aging Khalil Mack and injury-prone Joey Bosa. Lots of snaps are in the fold for Tuli Tuipulotu, and the Chargers are relying on the 20-year-old USC product to produce.”

  • 30 Tackles
  • 4 Tackles For Loss
  • 3.5 Sacks
  • 15 Pressures
  • 1 Forced Fumble

Actual Statline

  • 53 Tackles
  • 8 Tackles For Loss
  • 4.5 Sacks
  • 51 Pressures
  • 2 Forced Fumbles

After Season Analysis

Simply put, the Chargers’ decision to draft Tuli Tuipulotu was lights out. Even with what is now a healthy Joey Bosa and an aging yet elite Khalil Mack, Tuipulotu is here to continue his dominance as an EDGE defender. At only 21. The signing of Bud Dupree may have fans a bit bullish about the USC product’s ability to take his game to that very next level, as he will be sharing snaps with even more rushers than he did before. However, keeping the young EDGE defender fresh will only make this team better.

The sack number may seem pretty low, considering the praise being given. However, his impact as a run defender is another way the then-20-year-old dominated in the NFL. He ranked fourth in the entire league amongst ALL EDGE defenders in rush defense grade. First among all rookies. If he’s not getting to the quarterback with his immense effort, he is stopping the ball carrier short of the line to gain. The futu⛎re of this defense could very well be in the young, Tuli Tuipu🐻lotu.

Chargers Draft Selection: Daiyan Henley

The next Chargers draft pick was third-rounder, Daiyan Henley. The selection that drew the most att🀅en🐼tion and hype amongst fans has actually yet to fully pan out. Many believed he could be LB3 next to Kenneth Murray and Eric Kendricks. However, his rookie season is definitely one to forget.

Daiyan Henley’s Predicted Stateline + Excerpt From Original Predictions

“Henley brings speed, upside, and tackling ability as the third-round linebacker for the Chargers. He is newer to the position, playing on the offensive side of the ball before turning into a bone-crushing downhill threat of a linebacker. Henley has great speed and hitting ability, as well as an immaculate special teams presence.

His role with the Chargers will likely go as LB3 who splits time with former first-round selection , as well as a special teams all-star. If Kenneth Murray doesn’t improve, we will likely see more Henley by the end of the season. There is also plenty of linebacker depth on this team, so Henley will have a lot of competition.”

  • 40 Tackles
  • 1.5 Sacks
  • 2 Tackles For Loss
  • 1 Forced Fumble
  • Over 70% of Special Teams Snaps

Actual Statline

  • 16 Tackles
  • 0 Sacks
  • 0 Tackles For Loss
  • 0 Forced Fumble
  • 67% of Special Teams Snaps

After Season Analysis

The rookie was 24 in the middle of his rookie season, so it was very much expected for him to play right away, especially with a weak linebacker room. However, even with injuries occurring former sixth-round selection, Nick Niemann played over the rookie. It was quite apparent the regime did not believe in Henley’s defense capabilities, as the majority of his defensive playing time came after the midseason firing of Brandon Staley. In the special teams unit, he graded out very well above average with a 72.7 grade, showing that he is as good as advertised in that department.

Coming in as an unexperienced, yet older prospect is usually a recipe for disappointment. Although, the hope for Daiyan Henley to continue his development is still very much alive. In a recent deep dive, he could ꧂very well break out under Jesse Minter. This new regime is undoubtedly better at de๊veloping defensive talent than the previous one. Henley is extremely fired up for this change of scenery, and he will be in the fold to fight for the linebacker two spot in the offseason.

Main Image: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

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