With the first round of free agency out of the way, the Chargers’ plan at pick 28 in the 2019 NFL Draft is starting to become more clear…
The Los Angeles Chargers are through the initial wave of free agency, making small acquisitions and necessary re-signings to build out their roster. The true fun for general manager Tom Telesco starts with the 2019 NFL Draft with the 28th overall selection. Though there are a number of routes the team can go with its first pick, one has become more likely than others: right tackle. And, given the moves of other teams around the league, they may have a good prospect fall to them.
Here are teams that needed a tackle prior to free agency, and any subsequent moves that may have changed that need:
- Oakland Raiders, fourth, 24th and 27th overall pick. Signed tackle Trent Brown to a four-year, $66 million contract.
- New York Giants, sixth and 17th overall pick. Reportedly looking to bring in veteran Mike Remmers to play right tackle. More likely to draft a tackle at 17.
- Jacksonville Jaguars, seventh overall pick. Signed OT Cedric Ogbuehi (former first-round selection), who only played 5.42 percent of possible offensive snaps. Drafted right tackle Will Richardson in the fourth round in 2018, but lost him to IR last season before he played a single snap. Jaguars quarterbacks were sacked 53 times last year, tied for third-worst in the league.
- Buffalo Bills, ninth overall pick. Signed RT Ty Nsekhe (PFF’s 43rd-ranked tackle) in free agency. Have a left tackle (Jawaan Taylor) mocked to team by analyst Charles Davis.
- Denver Broncos, 10th overall pick. Made Ja’Wuan James one of the highest-paid right tackles in the league after five seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
- Miami Dolphins, 13th overall pick. Could use a right tackle to replace James, but just traded long-time “starter” Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans. Will likely address quarterback position with their selection.
- Atlanta Falcons, 14th overall pick. Released former starter Ryan Schraeder, but re-signed Ty Sambrailo to a three-year extension. Will play right tackle.
- Houston Texans, 23rd overall pick. One of the most likely teams to select a tackle to protect Deshaun Watson, who was sacked a league-high 62 times in 2018.
The Jaguars, Giants, and Texans are the three most likely remaining teams, in my opinion, to take a tackle in this year’s draft. All three rank among the ten-worst teams at protecting the quarterback in terms of sack numbers. The Raiders, Bills, Dolphins, Falcons, and Broncos have all made moves that will likely keep right tackle from becoming their first-round selection.
This means that the Chargers will likely get one of the top offensive tackle prospects all the way at pick 28, which would be truly special one year after making no draft trades to land future First-Team All-Pro safety Derwin James.