The LA Chargers have the 13th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and several areas that they can use the selection on. Left tackle appears to be the most obvious selection, but the intrigue around Jaycee Horn as well as the possibility of simply going best player available has been debated.
Regardless of which side of the argument you fall on, there is a select number of prospects that are likely to be taken by the Bolts. Earlier today, we ranked the four most-likely prospects that the Chargers will pick with the 13th overall selection.
But the draft can be wonky. There are always surprises that we do not see coming and there is a chance that the players we all expect are not available for the Chargers to pick at 13. There is absolutely a worst-case scenario for the Chargers to root against on draft night.
Shoutout to Tyler Lawrence of The Brawl Network for coming up with this hypothetical worst-case scenario and posing the what-if question over on his Twitter account.
Sorry, what if this happened.
No Horn/Surtain. Farley is there with two back surgeries. pic.twitter.com/XpEqxrpybR
— Tyler Lawrence (@TheeMasterBolt) March 26, 2021
This worst-case scenario involves the four best offensive linemen being taken (Penei Sewell, Rashawn Slater, Christian Darrisaw and Alijah Vera-Tucker) as well as corners Patrick Surtain and Jaycee Horn.
The offensive line prospects really do go down a level after the top four and there is still one intriguing cornerback in Caleb Farley available. However, Farley has injury concerns and just underwent back surgery. In this situation, Kyle Pitts and Ja’Marr Chase are also off the board.
What should the LA Chargers do in this worst-case scenario?
There are three different paths that instantly come to mind that the LA Chargers could take in this situation.
- Draft Farley
- Draft Jaylen Waddle
- Draft an EDGE
Personally, I would not go with any of the three options, each for its own reason. Before getting into what I would do, let me explain why I would not go with the three most obvious choices.
Farley is a stay away for me. As exciting as a prospect as he can be when healthy the injury concerns are real and this is the Chargers we are talking about. There is too much that can go wrong and the Chargers have been here and done that. I genuinely would rather have Asane Samuel Jr, and he is a second-round pick!
Drafting a receiver this high is a waste. Yes, Mike Williams is a free agent after this season but there are too many roster holes to justify taking a wide receiver to be the WR3 this season. It is fun to do in Madden, it is not fun to do in real life.
EDGE is one of those big needs for the LA Chargers, I just am not a fan of reaching for one when the Bolts can get similar talent later in the draft. The team needs depth at the position, but they do not need to draft a franchise-altering edge rusher. They have that in Joey Bosa. Pick 13 is too high, in my opinion.
So what do the LA Chargers do? They trade down.
Of course, there has to be a team that is willing to move up in the draft but based on this board there is most likely going to be suitors. This worst-case scenario indicates that only three of the ‘big four’ quarterbacks were drafted, leaving one of Mac Jones, Trey Lance and Justin Fields for teams to fight over.
The Patriots are right around the corner at 15 and while they re-signed Cam Newton, all the big contracts they are handing out indicate that they are preparing to have a rookie quarterback contract on the books. Plus, it is clear that Cam is not the long-term option there.
The Patriots are not the team to target. It is the teams that might want to jump them to get a quarterback. Washington at 19, Chicago at 20 and even Pittsburgh at 24 are all options for the Chargers to explore.
Trade down, snag an extra second-round pick and draft left tackle Liam Eichenberg. Then with that extra second-round pick, the team can draft both an impact cornerback and EDGE while allowing itself to draft Tommy Tremble in round three as well as a depth offensive guard.
Heck, maybe this is what the LA Chargers should be doing anyway.