Chargers Draft

Los Angeles Chargers: It’s a good year (and smart idea) to draft a running back

By Matt Pagels
SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Rashaad Penny
SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Rashaad Penny /
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The Chargers should look to add a backup running back in the draft. Lucky for them, there a ton of options out there.

Melvin Gordon is the Chargers’ starting running back–and he’s a pretty good one at that.

However, the team needs to add insurance at the position. As of now, Gordon, Austin Ekeler and Russell Hansbrough are the only backs on the roster. Ekeler, a 2017 undrafted free agent who surprised us all, is a great change of pace but makes more of an impact on third downs. At 5-foot-9 and 200 pounds, Ekeler isn’t quite built to be an every-down back.

The Chargers should find a true backup to Gordon. A bigger back would be best, one that could take over for Gordon when he needs a breather or gets banged up. You don’t want your RB1 getting overworked.

Or how about one that could help form a dominant one-two punch? A lot of teams incorporate two or more running backs in their game plan. Look at the 2017 playoff teams: The Eagles, Patriots, Vikings, Titans, Falcons and Panthers all used multiple running backs last season.

Not only would it be smart for the Chargers to draft a backup to Gordon, but this running back class is stacked. Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, LSU’s Derrius Guice, Georgia’s Sony Michel and USC’s Ronald Jones aren’t going to be available (unless the Chargers take Guice, Michel or Jones at 17, which they shouldn’t do). Let’s take a look at several other players who could make an impact right away.

*Note: This order is based on where I believe each player will get drafted.