The Chargers rarely make draft day moves, and they’re never a trade down. In 2020, they’re in a good position to help other teams out with a move back.
The Chargers, mostly, draft conservatively under Tom Telesco. Their only aggressive trade up was for Melvin Gordon in the 2015 NFL Draft. Given their placement in the 2020 NFL Draft, and taking into account the needs of other teams, the Chargers may have a chance to do something new: Trade back in the first round.
The Chargers pick sixth overall, which guarantees them their choice of either Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert; in other words, whoever the Dolphins pass on. If they want their quarterback of the future, taking either of those two prospects (Tagovailoa’s health updates pending) could be better than waiting on the next tier of quarterbacks at the end of the first round (should they trade up) or with their early second-round selection.
Let’s say they opt to go for one of those “third tier” quarterbacks, namely guys like Jake Fromm, Jalen Hurts, Jordan Love, and Jacob Eason (to be honest with the readers, I have not watched all of those names extensively just yet). Those are guys that can be had in the late first round or early second round, in a way the Broncos nabbed second-round pick Drew Lock with the 42nd pick this past draft. With their sixth pick, they now have the option trade back, because they aren’t thinking of going for a guy like Herbert.
The big name to watch: The Carolina Panthers, who pick No. 7 overall. Cam Newton’s health is a massive concern, and whether he returns to his old self seems like a long shot at this point. They may want to find their next quarterback. Should the Chargers pass on one, the Panthers would be in a great spot.
A spot that, to the Chargers’ good fortune, many teams would want to leap frog. The Jacksonville Jaguars (ninth), Indianapolis Colts (13th), and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14th) are all teams who could be looking to take a quarterback in 2020.
- Sixth overall: 1600
- Ninth overall: 1350
- 13th overall: 1150
- 14th overall: 1100
Now here’s what each team would need to give up to get to that sixth spot:
- Jaguars: 250 points. Their third-round pick in this draft is worth 225 points, and their sixth-round pick 23.8 points.
- Colts: 450 points. Their second-round pick in this draft is worth 460 points. The Chargers may need to send their seventh-round pick (12.6 points).
- Buccaneers: 500 points. Their second-round pick is worth 450 points, and their fifth-round pick is worth 34.5 points.
Trade back, take best player available, and use their two second-round picks (from IND or TB) to take their next quarterback and use the depth strength of the draft to take a lineman? Not too bad. Particularly if Telesco opts to sign a free agent tackle prior to the draft. Now they can take a corner early, a Forrest Lamp/Cody Ford/Dalton Risner-type tackle-to-guard with their second pick in the second round, and a guy like Hurts with their first pick in the second round.