I’ve talked about the idea of trading up in the first round, which seems to have been picking up steam as of late in fan discussions. As discussed in my Penei Sewell article though, it’s a bit too risky in terms of price for the top 10 of the draft. The LA Chargers would not only be sacrificing some of their draft capital this year but probably 2022’s as well.
With nine total draft selections this year, the Chargers could still trade up in other rounds. Last year brought us the trade-up with the Patriots for Kenneth Murray near the end of the first round. For a refresher on the pieces involved in that trade:
That was the level of compensation to get back into the first round. It was a somewhat steep price for Kenneth Murray, but the Chargers were moving up 14 spots in the process. A move like that will cost a team their day two draft selections.
Due to the sheer amount of holes and depth issues on this team, I wouldn’t expect them to make a move into the first round on that scale again. However, it does provide a decent outline for other draft trades they can make.
Trading up 14 spots this year would take the Chargers to Jacksonville’s first second-round selection at 33. It’s worth pointing out that when trying to gauge these trades, the Chargers do have two extra selections to work with.
Let’s say the LA Chargers want to secure themselves a cornerback like Asante Samuel Jr. early on day two. Here’s what that trade may look like:
This trade-up example makes a lot of sense for the LA Chargers on two levels.
Of course, you’re moving up the draft to get your cornerback in round two, but you’re also playing it smart with draft capital. Even though Tom Telesco would be trading away a third and a sixth here, the team still has one selection in both rounds. The Chargers only lose one total 2021 selection, getting a mid-seventh-rounder from the Jags in return.
The extra picks in the 3rd and 6th round are key in why the Chargers have some flexibility in moving up the draft on day two. If they didn’t have extra draft selections, it might be a little tougher. Should the Chargers make this trade with the Jaguars, they’d still have eight 2021 selections compared to the six they had after the Murray trade last year.
It doesn’t have to be as high as the 33rd pick either, especially if the Chargers start to get a little nervous while day two is playing out in front of them. What’s the approximate cost of going up to 41 with Detroit?
In this scenario, the cost is a little bit easier on the Chargers. Trading up six spots to the mid-second round isn’t quite as big of a deal. At this spot, they could perhaps get a lineman such as NDSU’s Dillon Radunz or Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood if they go cornerback in round one. A fourth-round pick (maybe the compensatory 3rd round pick if needed instead) should get the job done.
Having three day two picks means it’s not too big of a deal for Los Angeles to trade their first day three selection.
Once the LA Chargers use those two third-round picks on players in the draft, their value becomes obsolete. I wouldn’t predict a trade-up the draft for the Chargers, but if it does happen, it’s clear that the most likely spot is in round two or three.