The LA Chargers made nine selections in the 2021 NFL Draft, but there are several late-round prospects they may regret passing on.
Of all NFL Drafts that have been manned by LA Chargers general manager Tom Telesco, the 2021 draft may be the one most appreciated by fans.
The excitement from the fanbase largely rests on the laurels of Telesco’s first two picks where he was able to snag two fallers at positions of need who look like day-one starters and future potential Pro Bowlers.
Offensive tackle Rashawn Slater is nearly as pro-ready as a prospect can come, and that evaluation is based on his tape before he opted out in 2020 and spent the whole year training with a great offensive line coach in Duke Manyweather:
Beyond proud of @rdsl8r
We started this Journey back in September:
✅242 Days✅200+ workouts✅35 weeks✅8 months
-Get After It pic.twitter.com/azZtWzexQJ
— Duke Manyweather (@BigDuke50) April 30, 2021
Then, the Chargers were able to quickly follow that pick up with another elite talent in cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. Exactly like Slater, few expected Samuel to be available with the LA Chargers’ selection, yet Samuel fell right into the Chargers lap.
After that, Los Angeles made two surprising selections in wide receiver Josh Palmer and tight end Tre’ McKitty. These picks, along with the later day-three picks, received more mixed reviews from the press, though I liked both the Palmer and McKitty picks (you can our evaluation of the Palmer pick here and the McKitty pick here).
While I am not here to say any of the late-round selections the LA Chargers made were bad, they certainly missed out on some extremely talented players, many at positions of need in the later rounds.
The late-round choices by LA emphasized special teams, which is one effective strategy to get impactful players in later rounds. However, doing so may cause a team to miss out on potential diamonds who can eventually become starters.
So here, we will discuss several late-round options the Chargers missed out on.