The case for drafting an offensive tackle:
Heading into the offseason, the one major need that was dressed up for the LA Chargers was the offensive line. It was one of the worst in the league last season and needed improvement, and thus far, Chargers general manager Tom Telesco has done an excellent job addressing it.
The Chargers have brought in right tackle Bryan Bulaga and flipped left tackle Russell Okung for Pro-Bowl right guard, Trai Turner. The right side of the line is now shored up and a (hopefully) healthy Mike Pouncey at center and a competition between Dan Feeney and Forrest Lamp at left guard should create a decent dynamic.
The one question mark is left tackle, hence why it is a potential first-round need. Trey Pipkins could be trusted to start at the position as he showed a lot of potential last season and as quietly one of the best rookie tackles in the league.
However, he still has holes in his game that need developing that could be hindered if NFL training camp is shortened, adjusted or canceled in any way.
The reason for drafting a tackle here is that the team won’t end up getting the kind of talent they need if they don’t. If the plan is to go best available in round one and then either trade back into the first or draft a QB in the second then that is going to push the tackle even farther back.
With a need at wide receiver as well, the Chargers may not draft an offensive tackle until the fourth round if they do best available and pass on one, which is a compelling case to select one in the first.
However, the team might be okay simply adding depth for now because of Pipkins’ potential. It is not unheard of for the team to bet on a player they just drafted one year ago. Worst-case scenario, the team could move Bulaga to left tackle to protect the blindside and have a serviceable right tackle that can improve in the 2021 draft.