BoltBeat roundtable: Grading the 2020 Los Angeles Chargers Draft

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 19: Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks warms up prior to taking on the Washington Huskies during their game at Husky Stadium on October 19, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 19: Justin Herbert #10 of the Oregon Ducks warms up prior to taking on the Washington Huskies during their game at Husky Stadium on October 19, 2019 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Chargers
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) – Los Angeles Chargers /

With the 2020 draft now over, how does BoltBeat think the Los Angeles Chargers did? We sat down to discuss and grade the draft.

The marathon that is the draft has now officially ended. Six new players became Los Angeles Chargers over the course of the last three days:

squad up ⚡️

— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) April 25, 2020

In grading the draft, I asked a few of my fellow BoltBeat writers their thoughts on how the process played out, as well as answered the same questions myself.

Question #1: Which pick was your favorite?

Devon AuriemmaKenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma

“It’s a toss-up between Kenneth Murray and K.J. Hill, but I’ll lean towards Murray. Murray is such a fantastic athlete with an alpha dog mentality. He excels against the run, which has been an issue for the Chargers in previous years. If he can improve his coverage, he can become an elite linebacker in the NFL.”

Tyler Gallagher: Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma

“With all due respect to the great value that Tom Telesco found in K.J. Hill, my favorite pick of the draft was Kenneth Murray.

The Los Angeles Chargers have done well in finding cornerstone pieces for their defense in the last few offseasons but they have been missing a high-level linebacker. Murray may not be elite immediately, but he is instantly the best three-down linebacker on the roster.

Murray’s play is reminiscent of Luke Kuechly. Linebackers that are able to be gap-penetrating run stuffers while also having the ability to cover the field from sideline to sideline are invaluable in today’s NFL.”

Gary Johnson: K.J. Hill, WR Ohio State

“Not only was the value amazing at where he was picked, but he can also be a day one slot contributor. The only thing he lacks is speed. Other than that, he’s a complete receiver. On pure value, this is probably Telesco’s best pick of the entire draft.”

Nicholas Buttacavoli: Justin Herbert, QB Oregon

“Going against the grain, I thought the Justin Herbert pick wasn’t as bad as some made it out to be. I have faith in Tyrod Taylor as the starter for now and allowing Herbert to take the time he needs to develop will be great for him. He’ll also have time to learn the offense. As an athletic prospect, he has massive amounts of untapped potential.”

Alexander Insdorf: K.J. Hill, WR Ohio State

“My grade on Hill as a prospect was a third or fourth-rounder. The idea of him falling to the seventh round didn’t even seem like a possibility to me prior to the draft. As it played out, teams were looking for speedy or tall receivers on days one and two. Slot receivers seemed to mostly fall to day three.

Hill put up incredible production at Ohio State. He has great hands and doesn’t drop deep passes. Putting him in the slot when defenses have to worry about Keenan Allen and Mike Williams on the outside seems like a recipe for success as the third receiver.”

Jason Reed: K.J. Hill, WR Ohio State

“In terms of pure value for when someone was selected, it is impossible to not love the K.J. Hill selection. This is someone who the team could have selected in the fourth round and I would not have batted an eye that probably would have been a third-rounder in a not-so-deep receiver draft class.

It is really hard to find a seventh-round pick that can actually produce and make a tangible difference on the roster. If all goes to plan, Hill should be the perfect slot receiver for the Chargers and might be the team’s best seventh-round pick in quite some time.”

Brandon Viera: Justin Herbert, QB Oregon

“My favorite pick in this draft is going to have to be Justin Herbert. Herbert may not have been the guy everyone was expecting or hoping for, but knowing that Telesco really wanted Herbert makes me much more comfortable with the pick. K.J. Hill may certainly be the steal of the draft, but if the Chargers feel they’ve gotten their guy, then I believe them on that until absolutely proven otherwise. Herbert is the quarterback of the future for me and I can’t wait to see what he can do.”