Chargers Draft

LA Chargers: 4 rookies who have biggest impact in 2021

Cornerback Asante Samuel, Jr. #26 of the Florida State Seminoles (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Cornerback Asante Samuel, Jr. #26 of the Florida State Seminoles (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
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Tight End Tre’ McKitty #87 from Georgia (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Tight End Tre’ McKitty #87 from Georgia (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

LA Chargers fans should be thrilled with their team’s 2021 NFL Draft class, yet these four rookies could wind up providing the biggest impact in year one.

LA Chargers general manager Tom Telesco focused on a number of areas of need during the 2021 NFL Draft, and it’s no surprise the bulk of his picks on days one and two of the draft could easily wind up becoming starters by the time Week 1 rolls around this fall.

In total, the Bolts brought aboard nine prospects in the 2021 draft as well as 10 undrafted free agents shortly after the draft concluded.

As for the draft class itself, here you go:

  • Round 1: OL Rashawn Slater, Northwestern
  • Round 2: CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State
  • Round 3: WR Josh Palmer, Tennessee
  • Round 3: TE Tre’ McKitty, Georgia
  • Round 4: EDGE Chris Rumph II, Duke
  • Round 5: OL Brenden Jaimes, Nebraska
  • Round 5: LB Nick Niemann, Iowa
  • Round 6: RB Larry Roundtree III, Missouri
  • Round 7: DB Mark Webb, Georgia

Many of these players, including the UDFAs, are going to peg no higher than depth pieces or even just extra bodies for training camp.

But a few could easily wind up being key contributors right out of the gate.

Here are four players who could make a significant impact during their rookie seasons.

No. 4: LA Chargers TE Tre’ McKitty

Los Angeles lost oft-injured tight end Hunter Henry via free agency to the New England Patriots this offseason. And despite adding the veteran, Jared Cook, during the offseason, one has to admit he’s not a long-term fixture after having just turned 34 years old.

The 6-foot-4, 246-pound McKitty might not have put up the sheer numbers at Georgia, given the Bulldogs’ run-first offense. Yet he’s a well-rounded weapon, effective both when he gets the ball in his hands and has no issues supporting the run with his blocking.

Those two traits should open up plenty of snaps for McKitty, who could easily take snaps away from Cook as the season moves along.

Young quarterbacks like Justin Herbert easily find proverbial “best friends” in their tight ends, and McKitty could easily emerge as one of Herbert’s best go-to options over the course of 2021, upping McKitty’s stock value and providing a great return on the third-round investment.

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