Chargers Draft

The history of the LA Chargers picking an offensive lineman in first round

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: D.J. Fluker #76 of the San Diego Chargers during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 21, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: D.J. Fluker #76 of the San Diego Chargers during NFL game action against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 21, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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(Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

The LA Chargers are in a prime position to select an offensive lineman in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The Bolts have their franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert and need to do everything it takes to protect him.

The Chargers’ offensive line was one of the worst in the entire league last season so while it is fun to theorize about the Bolts drafting a receiver in the first round, it simply should not happen.

It is actually pretty rare for the Chargers to draft an offensive lineman in the first round of the draft and maybe that is an indication of why the team rarely has good offensive line.

Since the AFL-NFL merger, the LA Chargers have only drafted four offensive linemen in the first round of the NFL Draft.

That is not a typo. Four.

I would be legitimately shocked if Tom Telesco did not make it five in the 2021 NFL Draft. With that in mind, let’s look back at how it has fared for the Bolts.

1977: Bob Rush, Center, 24th overall pick

Bob Rush is the only non-tackle offensive lineman that the LA Chargers have taken in the first round and he played the center position. Coming out of Memphis, Rush was the best center prospect on the board and is one of just 26 centers since the NFL-AFL merger to be selected in the first round.

This was an awful start to the Bolts drafting offensive linemen in the first round. Rush spent five seasons with the Chargers and only started 12 games, 10 of which coming in one season in 1979.

He had very little impact on the franchise before going to Kansas City to be a decent starting option for the Chiefs for three seasons. As a Charger, Rush really did feel like a wasted selection.

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