2015: Melvin Gordon
- Traded 2015 first (17), 2015 fourth (117) and 2016 fifth (142) to San Francisco for the 15th overall pick
Melvin Gordon is not too popular among Charger fans right now because of the holdout that he performed at the beginning of the 2019 season as well as the fact that he signed with the Denver Broncos.
However, five years ago, Gordon was a very exciting running back prospect out of Wisconsin that was expected to kickstart the Chargers’ offense. And while Mathews, health held him back from reaching that full potential, Gordon was actually really good for the Chargers and was even better than Mathews.
Gordon played five seasons with the Bolts and in those five seasons, he was a two-time Pro Bowler and finished with 10 or more rushing touchdowns in two separate seasons.
Because of the threat he posed in both the running and passing game, Gordon, at his best, was easily one of the six or seven best running backs in the entire league. He just never could get through an entire season in one piece as he only had one year of the five in which he played all 16 games.
While he might not be popular now, you cannot fault the trade up. The Chargers traded to inconsequential picks to the 49ers to move up two spots and get the running back that they wanted.
So while Mathews and Gordon are not as impactful as the first three trade-ups, it is quite clear that every time the LA Chargers have traded up in the first round it wound up working out positively for the team.