The LA Chargers surprised fans by taking two players in the first round of the 2020 Draft, setting up the future of the offense and defense.
The LA Chargers were busy in the first round, selecting their presumed quarterback of the future in Justin Herbert with the sixth overall pick. They then traded their second and third-round picks to the New England Patriots for the twenty-third overall pick to select Kenneth Murray.
If all goes right, the Chargers may have just snagged a player to lead both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball for the next decade in the same draft.
However, the plan for the rest of the draft clearly took a major twist with these two selections. The Chargers do not have a pick until Day 3 of the draft, where they currently hold one pick in each round from four through seven.
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This means that the rest of the Chargers’ picks will be Day 3 players that are less likely to become immediate starters than the players that the Chargers could have drafted in rounds 2 and 3. Furthermore, it also means fewer opportunities to select players at remaining positions of need.
Some of the primary remaining positions of need include left tackle, wide receiver, and cornerback.
With fewer picks, the Chargers will need to be more aggressive in addressing positions of need during the rest of the draft.
First off, with the Chargers selecting a right-handed quarterback of the future, they should be investing in depth on the left side of their offensive line.
While Tom Telesco has significantly improved the offensive line earlier in the offseason by adding Trai Turner and Bryan Bulaga, both players have spent the majority of their careers playing on the right side of the offensive line.
The Chargers have shown trust in Trey Pipkins and Dan Feeney, so they may feel content on the left side of the offensive line. This may be especially true since a starting-caliber left tackle will be nearly impossible to find in Day 3.
Some Day 3 options at tackle include relatively unappetizing options such as Trey Adams, Charlie Heck, and Calvin Throckmorton. None of these players are starting-level options. Thus, I would not expect the Chargers to prioritize adding a left tackle now, as one of the remaining free agents could be a better backup swing tackle than a late-round project.
Still, the Chargers must find depth at the position in the draft or free agency. Sam Tevi and Trent Scott cannot be relied upon as the primary backups to Pipkins and Bulaga.
Furthermore, the Chargers must also seek to help their quarterback by adding a receiver that takes advantage of Justin Herbert’s skill set.
With the strong-armed Herbert as the quarterback of the future, the LA Chargers need to find a speedy wide receiver to stretch the field even more desperately than before.
Currently, no such option exists on the Chargers roster. Keenan Allen is an excellent route-runner, and Mike Williams is a great jump-ball guy. Now, they need to find a Travis Benjamin (preferably with good hands this time) to take the top off of a defense and take advantage of Justin Herbert’s skill set.
Fortunately, the Chargers selected an excellent draft to have a need at receiver. Several speedy receivers should be available on Day 3 in a draft that is extremely deep at receiver.
Another position of need that has become more vital for the Chargers to seek on Day 3 is cornerback.
In the first round of the draft, the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders got better at receiver by drafting Alabama stars Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III respectively.
Now, each team in the division has a formidable receiver duo. The Kansas City Chiefs have Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill (not to mention Demarcus Robinson and Mecole Hardman). The Denver Broncos have Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy. The Oakland Raiders have Tyrell Williams and Henry Ruggs III.
With this, it is apparent that the Los Angeles Chargers should draft a cornerback to replace or compete with Michael Davis.
While adding Chris Harris Jr. created versatility for the Chargers’ secondary, their plans to play Harris in the slot and Michael Davis out wide is concerning considering the receivers that the Chargers will face six times a year. An upgrade over the frequently-burned Davis (who earned a poor 58.4 grade from PFF in 2019) would make the Chargers defense elite.
Such an upgrade may be hard to find in Day 3, but some potential gems could be available.
Still, due to the fact that the Chargers only have Day 3 picks remaining, the best that the team may be able to hope for is improved depth over immediate starters.
That is the cost of two first-round picks. However, if the LA Chargers nailed their first two choices and can find at least one or two gems at positions of need, this draft could be one of the most exciting and impactful in recent memory.