The Los Angeles Chargers have a promising roster that could make a deeper playoff run next season. Los Angeles was on their way to a win in the Wild Card Round, leading 27-0 over the Jacksonville Jaguars, but they blew the lead and were defeated.

The Chargers have Justin Herbert at the helm and are looking to maximize the roster around him. Herbert threw for 4,739 yards, along with 25 touchdowns and ten interceptions. He completed 68.2 percent of his passes.

The third-year quarterback had a down season by his standards. However, he was missing his top two receivers, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, for multiple games this season. This offseason, the Chargers need to upgrade their roster to compete in the AFC.

There are plenty of great teams in the AFC, like the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, and Cincinnati Bengals. There are other teams on the rise, like the Jaguars, and the Miami Dolphins got better with a trade to acquire Jalen Ramsey.

Los Angeles needs to make their team better if they want to be a Super Bowl contender in the AFC. With that said, here are the five best players the Chargers can target during 2023 NFL free agency.

5. Safety Taylor Rapp

Safety is a position of need for the Chargers, as Nasir Adderley is a free agent. Los Angeles Rams safety Taylor Rapp could be a great fit for Los Angeles. Rapp has multiple connections with the Chargers coaching staff, including head coach Brandon Staley. Staley was the Defensive Coordinator for the Rams in 2020, and Rapp was one of the safeties.

Rapp is not a star but a solid safety that could fit their defense exceptionally well.

4. Defensive Tackle Sheldon Rankins

Another need that the Chargers have on their defense is at defensive tackle. Sheldon Rankins is someone that they could pursue as he is a good run-stopper. Los Angeles needs to improve their run defense, and adding Rankins would help with that.

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Rankins also had three sacks last season and forced a fumble. He can help stop opposing teams’ rushing attacks and would be a worthwhile signing for the Chargers.

3. Wide Receiver Adam Thielen

Los Angeles is in need of a third receiver to pair next to Allen and Williams. Veteran wide receiver Adam Thielen was released by the Minnesota Vikings. Thielen would be a good veteran presence to bring in and be a reliable third target.

While Thielen is no longer a star, he is a solid wideout. Allen and Williams have both had injury issues, which led to some offensive struggles last season. Thielen caught 70 passes for 716 yards and six touchdowns. Thielen would be a quality signing for Los Angeles to give Herbert another weapon.

2. Linebacker Bobby Wagner

Adding a linebacker of Bobby Wagner’s caliber is very intriguing. Wagner is solid in stopping the run, pass coverage, and as a blitzing linebacker. While Wagner is 32 years old, he is still a quality linebacker and should be a target for the Chargers’ defense.

1. Tight End Dalton Schultz

Dalton Schultz is one of the best pass-catchers on the market. Signing a good tight end like Schultz would give Herbert another quality target. Last season, Schultz caught 57 passes for 577 yards and five touchdowns.

He had a great season in 2021, catching 78 passes for 808 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Chargers have a lot of decisions to make this offseason. Los Angeles has some big needs, and if they have a good offseason, they can become a contender in the AFC.