The LA Chargers have a high pick at number six, but they may have to consider trading up for some of the top talent projected to go ahead of them.
The 2020 NFL draft presents the highest draft pick the Chargers have had since 2016 when they selected Joey Bosa with the third pick. Despite how high it is though, there will be some players out of the Chargers’ reach, barring a trade.
For the purposes of this topic, the assumption is that Cincinnati and Washington will keep the top two picks and select Joe Burrow and Chase Young, respectively. While there have been some theories about a team trading up for Burrow, it feels like the Bengals have all but drafted him already, barring something drastic like an injury.
The value of trading up realistically lies between picks three and five, where trades are manageable and there are potential players that really fit what the Chargers need.
Trade-up target No. 1: Isaiah Simmons
The College Football Playoff performances that Isaiah Simmons had vs. Ohio St. and LSU feel like they have boosted his stock. Simmons was probably a top 10 pick before that, but it feels like his stock jumped to more of a top-five pick. In Mel Kiper Jr.’s first NFL mock draft, he had Simmons going to the New York Giants at four.
His stock is on the way up, and for good reason. Simmons is a linebacker that can do it all. Want him on the line to rush the quarterback? Check. Want him to play corner coverage? Done. Follow a receiver deep at free safety? Sure.
Isaiah Simmons played all these positions at an elite level this season pic.twitter.com/JVQPJ9zP0C
— Cam Mellor (@CamMellor) January 9, 2020
Linebacker has been a hole the Chargers have needed to fill. Denzel Perryman is a great run stopper, but he’s somewhat one-dimensional in that regard and has had a lot of injuries to his lower body. Thomas Davis might still be in Los Angeles next year, but the Chargers could certainly fortify the position.
Simmons wouldn’t just fortify the linebacker group, but all the other spots on defense the coaches can plug him in at. He and Derwin James would be an absolute treat to watch every Sunday.
Detroit and New York at three and four respectively could be Simmons destinations, as they are both looking for talent to rebuild their defenses with. Simmons would go a long way for both franchises, so the Chargers may have to make an offer they can’t refuse for the Clemson linebacker.