Chargers' 2021 draft class is blossoming into Tom Telesco's best ever

Los Angeles Chargers Training Camp
Los Angeles Chargers Training Camp / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

Tom Telesco has had some fantastic draft picks as general manager of the LA Chargers and some bad draft picks as well. For the most part, Telesco has been among the best in the league in finding elite talent in the first round. However, it is the later rounds that gave the Chargers problems in earlier years.

Things appear to be heading in a different direction with Brandon Staley's influence as the head coach. Staley's first draft with the team in 2021 truly turned a corner and now less than two full years later, it has all the makings of being the best draft class of Tom Telesco's career.

Sure, Telesco landed Justin Herbert the previous year with the sixth overall pick but the rest of that class was horrendous. In terms of all-around ability from top to bottom, the 2021 class is in a fantastic place. Chargers training camp has simply reminded us of that.

How special the Chargers' 2021 draft class truly is:

Let's go through all the picks, shall we?

The team's first-round pick was an instant home run. Los Angeles was fortunate that Rashawn Slater fell to the team at 13 and he has been everything that was advertised and more. Slater instantly became one of the best tackles in the entire league and was named a Second Team All-Pro. The Chargers have their franchise tackle.

In the second round, the team selected someone who nobody thought would fall that far, Asante Samuel Jr. Samuel did not have a tremendous rookie season as two different concussions hindered his play and production but the potential was obviously there. That has shown up in camp this year as Samuel has thrived thus far.

Then we have everyone's pick for the 2022 breakout player of the year in Josh Palmer. Palmer started to turn it on at the end of his rookie season and looks like an extremely polished receiver in camp this year. His game will take a leap up and it is not crazy to think he could be a WR1 in 2-3 years time.

There is a bit of a dry patch in the next few picks. Chris Rumph has not proven anything yet in the league but he put on a lot of muscle this offseason to round out his frame and become stronger as an edge rusher. Brenden Jaimes has only been a depth lineman and Nick Niemann has been a depth linebacker. Both of them can blossom, though.

Larry Rountree has been the most disappointing pick from this draft and he appears to be the fourth running back in the depth chart right now, which is not great for him.

However, seventh-round pick Mark Webb has been fantastic thus far in camp. Webb was injured last season and enters camp fully healthy and is showing just how special he can be in nickel and dime looks. Webb doesn't have the physicality to be an every-down defensive back but his cover abilities are legitimate.

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All of these players only have one year of NFL experience and fans already feel great about most of them. The sky is the limit for the 2021 draft class and if the Chargers win the Super Bowl in the next few years, the 2021 class will be a big reason why.