Chargers 2024 schedule: L.A. could face 3 first-round quarterbacks this season

2023 Pac-12 Championship - Oregon v Washington
2023 Pac-12 Championship - Oregon v Washington / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

With the 2024 NFL schedule release set for any day now and draft season finally over, it's time to look ahead at who the Chargers will face and how they might fare. They put together an excellent draft class that will inevitably move the needle in the right direction, but what about the players drafted by their opponents?

The Chargers are a bit more fortunate than some others around the league in one regard: they'll potentially face just three of the first-round quarterbacks drafted this year.

Because of the history-making run of six signal callers being taken in Round 1, it could've been a lot worse, and the players they are set to face off against are the least intimidating of the group.

Three first-round quarterbacks will play the Chargers this year, but only one is presumed to be a day one starter

With the Broncos in the same division, the Chargers will inevitably face former Oregon quarterback Bo Nix, likely twice this fall. He was one of two quarterbacks taken in the first round who were projected to be selected later on, but Sean Payton's desperation knows no bounds.

Because he chose it was best to ship Russell Wilson out of the building and eat over $80 million in dead cap over the next two years, Denver needed a quarterback. It was rumored they were contemplating trading into the top 3 picks for J.J. McCarthy and were willing to give up the farm to do so.

But instead, they stayed with their original selection at No. 12 and shocked everyone by drafting Nix.

Whether he will be an intimidating force under center for the Chargers defense to be concerned about is yet to be seen. But since he was considered a day-two prospect with the potential need to sit for a year, it might be fair to assume he won't be.

The other first-rounders LA could potentially face are Drake Maye with the Patriots and Michael Penix Jr. with the Falcons.

The Patriots have Jacoby Brissett signed to the roster to be a veteran bridge quarterback and mentor to Maye, who might stay sidelined as a rookie. However, how he performs during training camp will surely dictate his availability for the 2024 season, and depending on how the schedule turns out, the Chargers might line up across from him at some point.

Penix Jr. is not expected to start this year or even in 2026 for the Falcons since they just signed Kirk Cousins in free agency to a huge contract. The decision to draft the quarterback was questioned from the start because of that, so the only way Penix will take the field this season is as a reliever if Atlanta is blowing an opponent out or if Cousins is injured again.

This could all be good news for the Chargers in their quest to be a truly competitive team again. Of course, they'll have their hands full with other quarterbacks, but facing Caleb Williams or even Jayden Daniels would have likely made things a lot more difficult.