Chargers add Hall of Fame lineage, draft Brenden Rice: Grade and analysis

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The trend for the LA Chargers in the 2024 NFL Draft has been to take the best player available on the team's big board. That is what led the team to take Joe Alt over Malik Nabers, trade up for Ladd McConkey, and make other savvy selections in the draft.

Los Angeles stuck with that formula in the seventh round of the draft by taking one of the biggest fallers on the board. With the 225th pick, the Chargers selected USC wide receiver Brenden Rice, who is the son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice.

Rice was projected to go in the third or fourth round and his name remained atop the best available list as the draft continued on. For one reason or another, teams continued to pass Rice up and it got to the point where the Chargers simply could not pass on him in the seventh round.

Chargers draft grade for Brenden Rice: A

There is probably a reason why Rice fell to the seventh round so Chargers fans should proceed with caution when hyping him up. This is exceptional value when compared to where he was on the consensus big board heading into the draft, but players do not just fall down the boards for no reason.

That being said, it is still impossible to not give this a good grade. The Chargers got a prospect who some graded as a day-two prospect all the way in the seventh round. There is relatively low risk when making seventh-round picks, and the reward if Rice lives up to expectations is huge.

Rice does not have a tremendously high ceiling and he probably won't be someone who surprisingly emerges as a future WR1. That being said, his route tree and size lend him to being a weapon in the deep and intermediate parts of the field with real red zone potential.

Most importantly, Rice is a solid depth option for the team which is a far better alternative than having to call up random practice squad players. If the Chargers sign a veteran free-agent receiver (likely) then the room will be six-deep full of young talent.

And while the ceiling of the talent will not be equal to what it was last season with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, you could make the case that the backend of the room is better as it will feature options like Rice instead of Jalen Guyton.

This is a good pick that Chargers fans should be excited about. It might take some time for Rice to develop into a consistent playmaker, and it may never happen, but this selection is risk-averse.

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