The 2021 NFL Draft is just over three weeks away and the LA Chargers will be faced with maybe one of the most pivotal first-round selections in franchise history. A piece that has the ability to take the team over the top in the Justin Herbert era could very well set up a window of Super Bowl contention for Los Angeles. Well, assuming they get the pick right.
Unfortunately, the Chargers are more dependent on how the draft plays out in front of them than they were last year. Most knew that Joe Burrow, Chase Young, Tua Tagovailoa, and Jeffrey Okudah would be off the board before the draft started. This year, there’s a lot more volatility and the Chargers have a lower draft pick.
Here’s how some teams in front of Los Angeles could help them.
Picks that help the LA Chargers: Cincinnati selects Ja’Marr Chase with the fifth pick
The debate that seems to be ripping the Bengals fanbase apart is Penei Sewell vs. Ja’Marr Chase. At this point, we know that three quarterbacks and likely Kyle Pitts are off the board by the fifth pick. The Bengals would then face a decision between getting Burrow some needed offensive line help and getting him his most dynamic weapon from the LSU days.
If I were the Bengals in that situation, I’d likely take Sewell. But Chargers fans should root for them to take Chase. If both Sewell and Rashawn Slater are still on the board by the 7th pick in the draft, it dramatically increases the likelihood that one of them will be available at 13.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer reported that Burrow is “pushing” the Bengals to reunite him with Chase. Pro Football Network then rebutted that claim by saying Burrow isn’t pushing the Bengals to draft a specific player.
I’m not sure I buy that Burrow is internally pushing the team to draft Chase, but one thing to keep in mind is the Eagles trading down to 12. Breer claims that they had interest in Chase and traded down because they had a pretty good feeling that Cincinnati would take him.
Whether it’s a smokescreen or not, a Chase selection by the Bengals would help the Chargers get their left tackle by forcing Sewell and Slater to fall.