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 Harry How/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) – LA Chargers

1986: James FitzPatrick, Tackle, 13th overall pick

One year after selecting Lachey with the 12th overall pick the Chargers used the 13th overall pick (which remember, is their selection in the 2021 NFL Draft) to shore up the other side of the offensive line. The Bolts took USC tackle James FitzPatrick.

FitzPatrick was fantastic for the Trojans during his collegiate days and selecting him after selecting Lachey the year prior should have formed a foundation for an extremely promising offensive line for the next decade.

That obviously is not what happened. Lachey was out of San Diego after three seasons and FitzPatrick only spent four seasons with the Chargers. Not only did he only spend four seasons with the Bolts, but he did not do much in those four seasons.

The Chargers played FitzPatrick at guard and tackle, first trying him at left guard before giving him a chance at right tackle. It did not really matter either way, FitzPatrick hardly played and did not provide the impact of a first-round pick.

FitzPatrick started just 14 games for the Bolts in four seasons. Following his stint with the Chargers he was traded to the Raiders, where he started another five games for the Raiders in two years.

What makes this an even tougher pill to swallow for the Bolts is the fact that the next tackle taken in the draft was 13-year starter and three-time Pro Bowler, Wil Worford.

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