It appears that the best-case scenario for the LA Chargers with the sixth overall pick, at least according to the majority of the fanbase, is selected Tua Tagovailoa out of Alabama.
Tua was the consensus first overall pick heading into the 2019 college football season but two things hurt his draft stock as the top quarterback. First was Joe Burrow and the LSU Tigers having the best season of all-time. Second was Tua’s several nagging injuries that were capped off with surgery on his hip.
With the status of this year’s draft and teams not getting to fly prospects in for visits, the injury concerns around Tua could be more extreme with NFL executives than they otherwise would be. However, because of his undeniable talent, he would be the best quarterback that could land in LA.
The next best options are Justin Herbert out of Oregon and Jordan Love out of Utah State. There is a big gap between Tua and Herbert, at least as far as NFL analysts are concerned heading into the draft, and another large gap between Herbert and Love.
Love, though, has a higher ceiling than Herbert but also has the lowest trench of the top quarterbacks. The sixth pick for either quarterback prospect might seem like a reach, however, if Tua is not available, I would not expect the LA Chargers to go elsewhere with the sixth pick.
There are reasons for the LA Chargers to reach and use the sixth overall pick on either Justin Herbert or Jordan Love.
Sixth would absolutely be a reach either quarterback, but I think it is a reach that the Chargers are willing to take. The most important dynamic in selecting a quarterback in the first round this year is that the team gets the fifth-year first-round option as a result.
With the selection likely sitting behind Tyrod Taylor next season, having that fifth year before needing to commit to a contract is massive. The Chargers do not get that is they hold out until the later rounds for a quarterback.
But there are still ways to get a first-round quarterback, the first being trading down in the draft. While that is possible, I am not sure that the Chargers have a viable trade-down path. The most realistic trade down would be the Atlanta Falcons at 16, but the team would be risking losing out on Herbert, Love, or both.
Atlanta is the team that is being speculated the most to move up but before Atlanta is the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders, both of which could be a threat to draft a quarterback. You also have the possibility of a team such as the New England Patriots trading up to snag a quarterback.
The other option would be to trade back into the first round to draft one of the quarterbacks. That has the same risk as moving back to 16 as another team could snag a QB before the Chargers get a chance to move back into the first.
Plus, with so many key players being free agents after this season, the Chargers should be holding on to future draft capital to not only be cheap contracts to fill out the roster but to be a security blanket if more players leave than expected.
So really, it kind of feels like the LA Chargers are stuck between a rock and a hard place at six if Tua is drafted in the first five picks; that rock being Justin Herbert and that hard place being Jordan Love.