1. A quarterback falls to the 13th overall pick
This is the biggest factor that will determine whether or not the LA Chargers move down in the 2021 NFL Draft. It is highly unlikely that there will be a team looking to move up to 13 for any of the prospects available unless there is a quarterback available.
In my first-round mock draft, all five first-round quarterbacks were drafted in the top 10. However, there are several factors that could lead to a quarterback actually falling to 13.
- The Atlanta Falcons don’t trade the fourth pick and take Kyle Pitts
- The Carolina Panthers don’t trade the eighth pick and take Penei Sewell/Rashawn Slater
- The Denver Broncos pass on a quarterback and give Drew Lock one more chance
The LA Chargers do not need all three of those things to happen for a quarterback to fall to 13. If one happens then it is possible, if two happens then it is extremely likely. We know the first three picks are going to be quarterbacks. Picks four, eight and nine are the picks to watch.
The most likely quarterback that will be available at 13 is Trey Lance. While the disrespect for Justin Fields is gross (he is my QB2), I do not think Lance will go before Fields (at least I hope).
That gives a big-name target for a team that needs a quarterback to move up for and would be at a reasonable position for teams like the New England Patriots, Chicago Bears or even the Pittsburgh Steelers to trade up for.
Dallas, New York and Philadelphia all have big needs and specific prospects to target at picks 10, 11 and 12, so the Chargers may be the first team willing to trade down in that range.
That is, as long as they value a certain prospect over another.