The Chargers are searching for the heir-apparent to veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, but the 2019 NFL Draft should not be their time to select one…
Patience is a virtue, and that is the mentality the Los Angeles Chargers need to take when selecting the quarterback of the future.
37-year-old passer Philip Rivers is nearing the end of his career, but still has a few more years left in him to be an elite passer in the NFL. Chargers’ management would be wise to draft his eventual replacement the first or second round in while he is still active.
But not in the 2019 NFL Draft.
By the time the Bolts are on the clock at 28th overall, the two best quarterback prospects in this years pool will most likely be taken. 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray could be the first player off the board this year. Former Ohio State gunslinger Dwayne Haskins has a strong chance of being selected in the top 10.
After those two, quarterbacks such as Duke’s Daniel Jones, Missouri’s Drew Lock, and North Carolina State’s Ryan Findlay could all be first-rounders. One of them could be available when the Bolts are on the clock. But all three do not show nearly as much promise as Murray, Haskins, or some of the signal-callers that could be available in the 2020 Draft.
That is why general manager Tom Telesco should wait to take a legitimate quarterback of the future.
The field of college passers in 2020 could include University of Oregon gunslinger Justin Herbert, who could have been the top quarterback prospect this year if he left Eugene but instead opted to return for his senior season. Joining him could be Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. Aside from his performance in the 2019 National Championship game, his college career has been virtually flawless. Herbert and Tagovailoa will most likely be drafted early. Unless the Chargers decline greatly in 2019, Telesco will have to trade some draft picks for a chance at one of these promising prospects.
However, the potential 2020 class does not stop at those aforementioned passers. Jake Fromm of the University of Georgia will enter his third college season as one of the NCAA’s most accurate quarterbacks, and his success against the SEC is a bonus trait for any NFL team. Following the Bulldog’s quarterback is another potential first-rounder in Stanford’s K.J. Costello. The 6′ 5″ signal caller is coming off a strong Junior season with the Cardinals, as he tossed 29 touchdown passes to just 11 picks. He has the ideal size and arm talent to emerge as a starting-caliber NFL passer.
With Tyrod Taylor most likely assuming the backup role behind Rivers in 2019, the Chargers should not be desperate and invest their 28th overall pick on a quarterback this April. Waiting until the 2020 Draft to find Rivers’ long-term replacement is a wise choice, no matter which of the “big four” prospects it is.