Jaylen Waddle or DeVonta Smith could be among the options available for the LA Chargers once it’s their time to select at 13. Several mock drafts have suggested that Los Angeles takes Waddle if he’s on the board, most recently Trevor Sikkema’s.
Two weeks ago, Pro Football Focus listed Waddle as a fit for the Chargers when discussing areas of need. Having a field stretcher like him would be great for the Chargers, but it just doesn’t make sense in round one. The same applies to any round one receiver.
The LA Chargers have too many significant needs
Drafting for need vs. BPA (best player available) always is a factor in draft conversations for any NFL team. The same discussion has enveloped the Bengals fanbase into a war between Penei Sewell and Ja’Marr Chase factions.
To me, this isn’t the usual debate between BPA vs. need though. The reason the Chargers need a cornerback or offensive tackle isn’t just because the starters are bad. It’s also because they have players with injury riddled careers as starters without depth behind them.
Waddle and Smith are fantastic talents, but are we really going to bet on Tom Telesco to properly fill the cornerback and offensive tackle needs starting at picks 47 and 77? The last few years of second/third round picks in the draft have not been pretty for Telesco to say the least with Trey Pipkins, Dan Feeney, and Forrest Lamp being their primary OL selections. They wanted to take Joshua Kelley a whole round earlier than they did and he was a healthy scratch for several games.
This isn’t all because Telesco is a bad general manager who can’t draft. The draft is mostly a crapshoot anyway. For any GM in the league, the likelihood of hitting on your first round pick is probably a lot higher than hitting on your day two picks. Drafting WR in the first round in particular has been a boom or bust venture around the league in the last decade.
For every Justin Jefferson in the first round, you have a Justin Blackmon. Mike Williams has not been a bust by any means, but fans are conflicted on whether the team should sign him to a long term deal after taking him in the first round just four years ago.
The amount of crucial needs on this team combined with Telesco’s draft history and the boom/bust rate on first round receivers should make the Chargers stay away from the position entirely on day one.