Much to Tom Telesco’s credit, the LA Chargers had a solid showing in the 2020 NFL Draft. The team landed its franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert, even if he did fall into Telesco’s lap and was not a hard selection.
However, the Bolts also traded up and selected Kenneth Murray, who projects to be a solid starting middle linebacker for years to come. The rest of the draft might not have been great (Joshua Kelley, really!?) but the first round saves it as being a solid draft.
But what if we went back and changed how things happen? Redrafting the 2020 NFL Draft significantly changes what happens with the top six picks, and who the Bolts end up with in the process.
Who do the LA Chargers draft in this 2020 NFL redraft?
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Justin Herbert goes first overall to the Cincinnati Bengals and there is a compelling reason why. I don’t blame anyone for still having Joe Burrow go first overall and having Herbert go second overall; Burrow had the greatest college football season of all time.
Burrow was also really good before he got hurt, so we cannot even make the case that Herbert was much better than Burrow. Who knows, Burrow could have gotten hot and put up similar, if not better, numbers than Herbert.
The biggest reason why Herbert is the rightful first overall pick in the redraft is age. Herbert is almost two years younger than Burrow (21 months, to be exact). It sounds silly, but that indicates that Burrow might be closer to his eventual ceiling and Herbert might play an extra year or two.
2. Washington Football Team: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Joe Burrow is a beast. I was a huge fan of his at LSU and he would instantly make the Washington Football Team the team to beat in the NFC East. Sure, they would not have Chase Young, but that defense still would have been stout and they could have drafted an edge in the second round.
This is a really fun what-if. Joe Burrow with Ron Rivera and a great defense. Definitely more exciting than him playing for Cincinnati.
3. Detroit Lions: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
Chase Young moves down one spot and it is not his fault. He was absolutely exceptional in his rookie season and while an edge rusher is the most important defensive position, quarterback is the most important position, perhaps in all of sports.
Young on the Lions would have been fun. They still would have had a terrible head coach and losing culture but perhaps Young could have provided a defensive spark that led to a better season. In this alternate reality, Matthew Stafford might still be in Detroit.
But Matt Patricia might be too, so maybe Lions fans are happy with how it turned out.
4. New York Giants: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Justin Jefferson would have been the offensive rookie of the year in any other season. Instead, he had to be the most over-qualified second-place finish in league history after Justin Herbert broke almost every rookie passing record.
I am against taking receivers this high, especially with only one year of film on Jefferson. However, he was exceptional last season and absolutely belongs in the top four. Daniel Jones gets his premier target and the Giants make some noise.
5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The Miami Dolphins still end up with Tua. Tua was not great in his rookie season and certainly was far worse than Justin Herbert, but there is still a lot of potential there. The Dolphins needed a quarterback either way and they obviously are not giving up on Tua yet, so they redraft him here at number five.
It might be a bold thing to say but that was the one main thing that the Dolphins needed last season and they still won 11 games. If Tua works out for them and can just be a Kirk Cousins-level quarterback then the Dolphins could be a scary team.
6. LA Chargers: Tristan Wirfs, LT, Iowa
The LA Chargers end up with a left tackle. Boring. Some may expect Isaiah Simmons, who has a boatload of potential, but I would rather the team take a left tackle in Tristan Wirfs and still trade up for Kenneth Murray.
Wirfs was by far the best rookie left tackle last season and has plenty of Pro Bowls and potential All-Pros in his future. Wirfs earned an 82.2 overall grade on Pro Football Focus last season. He would have protected Tyrod Taylor and the Chargers would have rolled with Tyrod and not drafted a quarterback.
If Justin Herbert could only win six games in 15 stars then I don’t envision Taylor winning many more, even with Wirfs. The Chargers probably would have gone 5-11 and would probably be projected to draft Trey Lance right now. But hey, they would have their left tackle!
Instead, the LA Chargers have their franchise quarterback and are looking for a left tackle to protect him; the complete opposite of what would happen if we redrafted the 2020 NFL Draft.
I like how it worked out for the LA Chargers. They are the only team that is hurt by this redrafting.