Los Angeles Chargers: Why the Chargers could trade down in the draft

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(Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Chargers
(Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Chargers /

1. The Los Angeles Chargers could get Justin Herbert several picks later

Barring some surprise selections in the first five picks of the 2020 NFL Draft, chances are that the Los Angeles Chargers are going to have the choice of Justin Herbert as their quarterback. If the Miami Dolphins, for some reason, draft Herbert or pass on Tua Tagovailoa then the Chargers should drop everything and draft the Alabama quarterback.

The likely outcome is that it will be Herbert, which gives the Chargers some flexibility. While Herbert would be an exciting option, there is a big gap between him and the first two quarterbacks, Tua and Joe Burrow.

Herbert is in the 20s in most big boards and with no teams desperately needing a quarterback behind the Chargers, they could take the risk of moving back, pick up some draft capital, and still get the same guy they would have gotten with the sixth pick.

The only team that could threaten this plan in the Carolina Panthers, who are going through a potential transition from Cam Newton. I still think they are a year away from drafting a quarterback, though.

The perfect team to exploit for extra draft capital would be the Cleveland Browns, who own the 10th overall pick. Cleveland desperately needs to improve the offensive line and jumping to the sixth pick would get them Jedrick Wills, who is the consensus best tackle in the draft.

In the 2015 NFL Draft, the Chargers traded a fourth-round pick and 2016’s fifth-round pick to move up to spots. In 2018, the New York Jets traded three second-round picks to the Indianapolis Colts to move up three picks and get a quarterback.

The value of this trade-up would be somewhere in-between. The Browns have the Houston Texans’ third-round pick this year, so the Chargers landing the Browns’ third-round pick and the Rams 2021 fifth-round pick (which the Browns own) would be a fair and realistic swap.