3. Joshua Kelly, RB, UCLA
- Potential round: Fifth
The Los Angeles Chargers made headlines by extending Austin Ekeler with a four-year, $24.5 million contract, making him the 10th-highest running back in the league in the process. While his fate is still undecided, this essentially guaranteed that Melvin Gordon would not be returning to the team.
Right now, the Chargers have a reliable two-man running back tandem of Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson. While Jackson was really good against the Steelers in 2018, he has not done much on top of that for the Chargers to trust in him this more emphasized role.
Plus, it is always good to have that third running backs for certain situations or just in case one of the other two get hurt, so that is why the team could use a late-round selection to draft a running back.
If that is the case then UCLA running back Joshua Kelly would be a good fit. Kelly is a more physical runner that seems to crave contact when he is running the football. While that has led to some questionable decisions behind his blockers, it has also led to Kelly having an innate ability to power through contact for extra yardage.
Kelly would be a good short-distance or third-down running back that could come in to get a yard or two or could even be a decoy running back for the play-action pass.
There is a chance that Kelly goes in the fourth round and he definitely is deserving, but it would be a bit of a reach for the Chargers to draft him early in the fourth when it is not a massive need for the team.