1. Left tackle
The LA Chargers have made tremendous improvements to the offensive line but there is still one glaring hole that needs to be filled: left tackle. To anyone that does not want to take a tackle in round one of the 2021 NFL Draft, I ask you this: who is going to play left tackle then for the LA Chargers?
Do you really want to see Trey Pipkins or Storm Norton be tasked as the starting left tackle? If so, then you obviously are okay with risking Justin Herbert’s health. Just go watch the Joe Burrow injury again and get back to me.
Our friends over at the Guilty as Chargers Podcast made an excellent point on Twitter about drafting a tackle versus drafting a cornerback. If the Chargers do not take a tackle at 13 then the options get much worse in round two, whereas the cornerback options are still solid.
Yeah but OT3 or 4 turns into OT10 or 11 in the second round. Vs CB1 or 2 and CB5 or 6
— Guilty As Charged Podcast (@GACPodcast17) March 24, 2021
Just for fun, let’s head over to The Draft Network’s Mock Draft Machine and see what offensive line options are available at pick 13 versus in the second round. At 13 we have our choice of Christian Darrisaw, Alijah Vera-Tucker and Teven Jenkins, all starting-caliber offensive linemen who should start right away at left tackle.
If we instead draft Jaycee Horn at pick 13, the Chargers’ options in round two become Landon Dickerson and Alex Leatherwood with the best actual tackle prospect being James Hudson (both Dickerson and Leatherwood are going to be guards at the NFL level).
However, in the second round, even after drafting a cornerback with our 13th pick, Asante Samuel Jr. is available. Horn is the better prospect, but the difference between Horn and Samuel is nowhere close to the difference between Darrisaw/Vera-Tucker and Hudson.
And yes, there is a chance that Dillon Radunz or Liam Eichenberg could fall to the Chargers in the second round but that is a massive risk, whereas Samuel should be available in round two unless another team really likes him and reaches for him.
The LA Chargers do not currently have a starter on the roster for the most important position on the offensive line. That makes it far and away the biggest roster hole.