The LA Chargers have the 13th overall pick but that draft position is not set in stone. If the top players on the Bolts’ draft board are taken then it makes more sense for the Chargers to move back in the draft and gain more capital.
The Chargers’ biggest roster need is the tackle position and the team can move down a handful of selections and pick someone similar to who they would have gotten at 13.
An ideal trade-down spot would be with the New England Patriots at 15. If the Patriots trade up for a top talent then the Chargers would likely get the same tackle that they would have gotten at 13. And luckily for Charger fans, Bill Belichick may have already hinted at moving up to 13 at his latest press conference.
Perhaps that someone he is hinting at is a quarterback, such as Trey Lance or Mac Jones. Or it could be one of the top receivers in the draft, either Jaylen Waddle or Devonta Smith.
The Patriots would not be moving up that far in the first round if they traded up with the LA Chargers so the price might not be that high, but we can take a guess.
How much the LA Chargers could get in a trade-down with the New England Patriots:
The NFL Trade Value Chart is a good resource that gives every draft pick a value, which the goal in a trade to essentially match the values of the picks. This is not a fail-proof metric, as sometimes teams will overpay for a certain position, but it is a good resource and starting point.
Last year, the Chargers traded up with the New England Patriots ironically enough to select Kenneth Murray. That trade was nearly to a tee in terms of creating equal value.
In the 2015 NFL Draft, the Chargers traded up from the 17th overall pick to the 15th overall pick to select Melvin Gordon. While the selections are not the same, the Bolts still moved up two spots to take a skill position player.
In that trade, the Chargers traded the 117th pick in that year’s draft as well as the 142nd pick in the following year’s draft. Moving up from 17 to 15 this year is worth 100 points. The 117th and 142nd overall picks are worth a combined 95 points. Very close.
The move from 15 to 13 is also worth 100 points, so based on the value chart and a nearly identical trade by the LA Chargers for Melvin Gordon, the Patriots are going to have to come up with a similar package.
There are two paths the Chargers could take to get almost identical value. The first route is to get both the 120th and 122nd overall picks from the Patriots. The combined value of those picks is worth 104 points.
The other path the Chargers could take would get them an earlier pick but would cost another pick as well. The 96th overall pick is worth 116 points, so the Chargers could send the 185th pick (15.8 points) or if they are lucky, the 198th pick (10.6 points).
LAC gets: 15 (1st), 96 (3rd)NE gets: 13 (1st), 185 (6th)
Difference of 0.2. Not only would this work for both teams in terms of draft strategy, not only does the math work almost perfectly, but the two teams ALSO have a history of working out draft day trades. https://t.co/NYS2WQkoef
— Tyler Schoon (@tylerjschoon) April 15, 2021
So the Chargers could either get two additional fourth-round picks or a third-round pick while also throwing in a sixth-round pick.
It is not the biggest return but it certainly would be worth it if the LA Chargers end up getting the same prospect anyway.