Trying to pinpoint what the LA Chargers are going to do with the 21st overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft is tough. Los Angeles does not have one pressing need and the board is going to open up after 15-20 picks, giving the team multiple different directions to go.
There are several positions the team can take in round one (tight end, wide receiver, edge rusher, heck, even running back) as well as the possibility of LA moving back in the draft in order to pick up extra capital.
While there are a lot of different conceivable possibilities for the Bolts this year, there are still some directions that make absolutely no sense. The latest NFL mock draft done by Josh Edwards of CBS Sports is a good example of what the Chargers won't do with pick 21.
In Edwards' three-round mock draft the Bolts select offensive tackle Darnell Wright. That seems a bit surprising considering the team has Rashawn Slater and just re-signed Trey Pipkins to a three-year deal. Maybe the Pipkins signing was forgotten about? Nope. They doubled down on the selection with a bold assertion about what would happen to Pipkins.
"Los Angeles could have gone in a few directions with running back Bijan Robinson still on the board. For the third consecutive year, the Chargers take an offensive lineman in the first round. Darnell Wright is plugged in on the right side and Trey Pipkins becomes the swing tackle."
You didn't read that incorrectly. The logic here is to take a first-round, unproven tackle that way the Chargers can make the guy they just paid on a new three-year deal a swing tackle. Because that totally makes all the sense in the world.
This NFL mock draft misses the boat for the LA Chargers.
Even worse is the fact that the Chargers passed on incredibly promising prospects like Bijan Robinson and Quentin Johnston, both of whom the team would almost undoubtedly pick if they were on the board at 21.
All of the tight ends were available, Brian Branch was available and Will McDonald IV was available. As were fellow first-round receivers in Zay Flowers and Jalin Hyatt. There is a list of 10 or so prospects that could legitimately be high on the Chargers' board that would not be passed on.
Even if most of those prospects were somehow gone by the time the Chargers were on the clock, there is not a chance in the world they would take a third tackle with a first-round pick just to bench Pipkins.