LA Chargers: Why trading up for Penei Sewell isn’t worth it

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(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) – LA Chargers
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) – LA Chargers /

Oregon’s Penei Sewell spoke glowingly about Justin Herbert and the idea of reuniting with his former Ducks’ teammate on the LA Chargers:

Oregon LT Penei Sewell talks about what it would mean for him to block for #Chargers QB Justin Herbert again. Calls it “a dream come true.”

— Fernando Ramirez (@RealFRamirez) April 5, 2021

For obvious reasons, Penei Sewell to the Chargers is fun to think about. Personally, I have him graded as the best offensive lineman in this draft. It seems that most analysts have him at OT 1 or 2, depending on what they think of Rashawn Slater.

Barring a shocking fall, the Chargers would have to trade up for Sewell to acquire him. That win streak at the end of the 2020 season could prove to be costly in that regard.

Who would the Bolts trade with? Albert Breer has reported that the Falcons have had conversations about trading out of the fourth overall pick while the Lions are open to the same idea at seven.

Here comes the but, as one may have guessed by the article’s title-trading up for Sewell, or any first round prospect, isn’t worth it for the Chargers in most scenarios.

The cost for the LA Chargers

It’s pricey to trade up the draft. We’ve seen that recently demonstrated by San Francisco’s trade with Miami and then Miami’s subsequent trade with Philadelphia. Trading up nine spots to three cost the Niners their 2021, 2022, and 2023 firsts, in addition to 2022 third round pick. That same nine spot trade up cost applies to the Chargers potentially trading up with the Falcons.

How about a six spot trade up cost? Well, still expensive. Miami gave Philadelphia 2021 and 2022 firsts plus a 2021 fifth rounder to move up to six. To get into likely Sewell range, the Chargers will have to most likely part ways with their 2022 first round pick. A realistic trade probably looks like:

Can the Chargers afford to move up 5+ spots in the draft? Yes. But this team is not one piece away from Super Bowl contention. One could argue that they need help in the cornerback room just as much as they need a left tackle.

There’s a clear difference between Sewell and say Christian Darrisaw being selected in the first round for the Chargers, but it’s not enough for me to want to give up the team’s first round pick next year.