Chargers Draft

Los Angeles Chargers: Five best third-round picks since 2000

Nick Hardwick #61 of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Nick Hardwick #61 of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Chargers
(Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Chargers /

2. Nick Hardwick, 2004

The 2004 NFL Draft was a good one for the Los Angeles Chargers. Not only did the team have both third-round picks from that year make the top-five of the century, but the Chargers also received their franchise quarterback of the future in Philip Rivers.

Some might be surprised to see Hardwick not be the best third-round pick of the century. There is a pretty obvious choice for the best third-round pick but Hardwick would also be a great candidate. He was an essential part of the Chargers’ offensive line during the team’s most successful run in franchise history.

Hardwick started 136 games for the Chargers at center from 2004 to 2013. Hardwick was a beacon of consistency for the Chargers, not only in staying on the field, outside of the 2009 season, but in producing at a high-quality level.

Hardwick was never the best center in the league and he was only a Pro Bowler once, but he was a fan-favorite for the Chargers and was one of the essential players for the team’s success in the mid-to-late 2000s.

Hardwick would be more than deserving of the top spot on this list if it were not for, arguably, the best current player on the Los Angeles Chargers.

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