Will the Los Angeles Chargers search for Philip Rivers’ replacement in the draft? It seems like that question has been asked for the last several years and there’s no doubt it will persist this year.
According to Peter Schrager of NFL.com, the answer to that question is yes. In fact, not only do the Chargers draft a quarterback in his latest mock draft, they do so with the No. 28 overall pick in the first round, taking West Virginia’s Will Grier.
This would set Rivers to have his career end the same way it began. He sat behind Drew Brees for a couple of seasons before taking the reigns and Grier could do the same in Los Angeles, but what sense would that make?
The Chargers are a team that could potentially be one or two players away from competing in the Super Bowl. With multiple defensive tackles and linebackers set to become unrestricted free agents and possibly sign with other teams, one would assume that the smart route would be for the team to concentrate on those positions.
Drafting a quarterback to groom behind Rivers will do nothing to enhance the team’s “win now” approach.
If the Chargers do draft a quarterback this year, they should let a few rounds pass and see if they can find a developmental prospect in a later round and perhaps get fortunate. Auburn’s Jarrett Stidham and Ryan Finlay from North Carolina State are two that come to mind.
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This is not meant as a slight against Grier. He may end up being a solid professional quarterback. But it makes no sense for the Chargers to draft him in the first round.
A defensive tackle such as Dexter Lawrence or Dre’Mont Jones or a linebacker such as Mack Wilson from Alabama makes much more sense in the first round. Heck, even an offensive lineman like Dalton Risner from Kansas State is a more logical selection.
Talking about drafting a quarterback is fun, but the Chargers are bidding for a championship in the immediate future, not looking for building blocks for a potential shot someday down the road. Rather than waste a pick on a quarterback that might eventually succeed Rivers, it makes more sense to focus on the guy they have now and put pieces around him that will help bring the ultimate goal.