3. The LA Chargers expect to be much lower in the draft order in 2022
Telesco obviously wants to keep his job so of course, he is going to look ahead to next year as if he is still the general manager of the LA Chargers. If Telesco and Staley are low, or even luke-warm, on the team in 2021 then they may not do this trade.
However, if the two feel very comfortable with the talent level and the things that are possible in 2021 then it makes even more sense to trade a first-round pick next year. Of course, they could be wrong on their calculations, but it is their calculations that lead to a decision like this.
Let’s say the front office loves where the team is and expects them to fight for a playoff spot and have a better record. The lowest non-playoff selection is the 18th overall pick, and if the Chargers sneak into the playoffs, they could be picking in the 20s.
If the front office legitimately believes that is possible and believes that Sewell will help that cause, then they absolutely should trade the pick. The reality of the draft is that there are about 12-18 prospects every year that are the elite, cream of the crop prospects.
Those are the prospects that teams are going after, and then there is a drop-off. Once you get into the 20s, it all just matters on who teams like, not so much a set-in-stone big board like the first dozen or so prospects.
That is why we see so many second-round prospects get picked late in the first or first-round prospects getting picked in the second round. The Chargers could get just as much value at pick 52 as pick 20 as long as they do the proper scouting and find someone who they really like.
Obviously, there is a better chance of landing someone you like in the 20s as opposed to the 50s, but the Chargers still would not be landing that elite crop of prospects in the 20s. The margin for error with a pick in the 20s is just as high as a second-round pick, so in the eyes of the Chargers, it is worth sacrificing that to get a franchise left tackle.
The Chargers also could be looking at Kenneth Murray as an insurance plan of sorts. In a vacuum, if the Chargers trade a future first for Penei Sewell, the team would still have three first-round picks in a three-year span because of Murray.
Now if the LA Chargers trade up for Sewell and finish terribly then they will regret it, Houston Texans-style.