The LA Chargers were officially awarded a third-round compensatory pick on Wednesday for losing Philip Rivers in free agency last offseason. The Bolts were awarded the 97th overall pick, which was the second-highest pick awarded, only behind the New England Patriots’ 96th pick for losing Tom Brady in free agency.
While we knew this pick was coming because of the signing, it does serve as a positive reminder that the Bolts have four picks in the top 100 to fill some of the holes that the roster presents.
How well these holes are filled all depends on how well the Chargers draft and the question is raised — how impactful might the 97th overall pick be?
Of course, it varies year to year, but the recent history of the 97th overall pick is not great.
LA Chargers: The five-year history of the 97th overall pick:
2020: Jacob Phillips, LB, Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns selected outside linebacker Jacob Phillips out of LSU with the 97th overall selection last year and while the Browns won their first playoff game in 27 years, Phillips did not have much of an impact on the team.
Phillips only played a total of 169 defensive snaps and 83 special teams snaps last season. In his defensive snaps, Phillips recorded one quarterback hit, one tackle for loss and one pass defended. He finished his rookie season with a combined 25 tackles.
Phillips is the definition of a developmental pick. He has really good athleticism and used that to succeed at the collegiate level but lacks the football IQ and coverage abilities to be a consistent starting linebacker.
The jury is still out on Phillips.