The LA Chargers’ sixth pick is still undecided. How would each of the possible first-round selections grade if they were the pick?
The LA Chargers play things very close to the vest as an organization, and that’s especially true when it comes to the draft. Despite it being only a week away, there might be even more uncertainty for who the sixth pick is than there was a month ago.
The first round for the Chargers this year might be their most important since 2004, especially if they select a quarterback. In general, the Chargers might not sniff selecting in the top 10 picks again anytime soon because of their stacked roster. Making the most of the sixth pick (or a higher pick if they trade up) is of the utmost importance.
With the sixth pick, the LA Chargers select…
This situation assumes a couple of things. Tua Tagovailoa is off the board in this scenario after Miami takes him, despite reports over the last few weeks. Some of the higher tier defensive players like Isaiah Simmons, Jeffrey Okudah, and Chase Young are also probably gone by this point. At this point, the Chargers are really left with Justin Herbert, Jordan Love, and some quality offensive tackles.
Herbert has been one of the favorites to be the pick at six for a while. There have been rumblings that Tom Telesco prefers him over some of the other choices at quarterback. Herbert has an incredible arm, which is why teams like him. It’s not quite like Patrick Mahomes‘ arm, but he can uncork it.
The positives for Herbert are his short to intermediate throws. He can throw good slants and put the ball where it needs to be. There’s a lot to like about his mobility as well. With and NFL quality offensive line, he may be a better rusher in the pros than he was in college. His footwork is decent enough.
Despite having “the arm” though, his deep ball leaves a lot to be desired. Many will point to his overall completion percentage of 66.8%, but he threw 99 screen passes. If almost a fourth of his passes are screen passes, the percentage will be inflated. There’s still that deep throw that reminds me of Josh Allen where sometimes it’s on the money and sometimes it’s 20 feet over a receivers’ head and out-of-bounds.
Reading progressions is also a weakness for Herbert. In fairness to him, a lot of these kinks can be worked out in the NFL. It’s just clear to me he’s more of a project than a day one starter. That’s fine for the Chargers, considering they have Tyrod Taylor. I’m just not sold on his overall passing efficiency at the NFL level.