Chargers: Versatile Franklin added to O-Line
One of the most versatile free agents didn’t hang around long on the open market with the San Diego Chargers quickly acquiring Orlando Franklin. Strengthening themselves as they weaken a division rival, the Chargers have added quality and versatility to their offensive line with Franklin a proven, quality player at both right tackle and left guard during his time in Denver. At guard, Franklin offers an immediate upgrade over Chad Rinehart, but the move also would allow the team to move former first round pick D.J. Fluker inside from right tackle depending upon other acquisitions to come in the offseason.
Franklin entered the league as a right tackle under now Chargers’ head coach Mike McCoy, flourishing as a pass protector in his second season (+12.7) having shown his ability as a run blocker from his rookie season (+5.0). Franklin continued to play well at right tackle after McCoy’s departure but after a difficult Super Bowl performance against Seattle in 2013 was shifted inside to left guard this season without suffering the slightest drop off in form.
Continuing to show well as a pass protector (+8.0; 11 pressures allowed) Franklin came alive as a run blocker when the Broncos made a commitment to the ground game and C.J. Anderson down the stretch. After Denver’s unexpected Week 11 defeat to St. Louis, Franklin earned our third-highest run block grade (+9.6) among guards and trailed only Evan Mathis and T.J. Lang in terms of overall grade over the final six weeks of the season. After seeing their offensive line struggle last year Chargers fans should be delighted with the addition of Franklin’s quality with the versatility to cover multiple spots.