Chargers admit defeat, waive 2021 draft bust Tre' McKitty

Tre' McKitty is following in Jerry Tillery's footsteps.
Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

In the team's first draft with Brandon Staley as the head coach, the LA Chargers selected Georgia tight end Tre' McKitty with the 97th overall pick. It was viewed as a slight reach at the time as McKitty was projected to go later in the draft and hadn't yet developed as a pass-catching threat.

However, McKitty showed a solid blocking foundation on tape and with the right development at the NFL level, he could have turned into a well-rounded tight end option. Unfortunately, that development never came and his blocking ability ended up regressing.

It looked like McKitty hit a low point in Week 7 when the Chargers decided to make him a healthy scratch less than three years after drafting him with a premium pick. That wasn't even close to being rock bottom, as McKitty has now been waived by the team now that the trade deadline has passed.

Tre' McKitty highlights a string of awful draft selections by the Chargers

This move does not come as a massive surprise as McKitty has not been playing like an NFL-quality tight end. That being said, it still is not common for a team to outright waive a third-round pick before his third season in the league is even finished.

It is hard to argue that this was not justified and when it all comes down to it, McKitty being waived is yet another reminder of how bad the Chargers' track record in the NFL Draft has been in recent years.

Sure, there are some standouts but that is true for every single team in the league. But from top to bottom, it is hard to find a team that has put together worse draft classes than the Chargers have dating all the way back to 2019.

Trey Pipkins and Easton Stick are the only members from the 2019 draft class still on the team. The 2020 draft class was held up by Justin Herbert but was terrible after. Kenneth Murray has been a massive disappointment (although he is finally playing well four years later in 2023). Joshua Kelley is an average RB2 at best, Alohi Gilman is an average safety at best and both Joe Reed and K.J. Hill didn't last long on the team.

The 2021 draft is held up by a really great top three of Rashawn Slater, Asante Samuel Jr. and Joshua Palmer. The team certainly deserves credit for those three selections (although there were better receivers that could have been taken in the third round 2021 NFL Draft). After that, the team took McKitty, Chris Rumph, Brenden Jaimes, Nick Niemann, Larry Rountree and Mark Webb.

LA landed two starting offensive linemen in Zion Johnson and Jamaree Salyer in the 2022 NFL Draft but both have been below average in 2023. JT Woods, Isaiah Spiller, and the rest of the draft class have not done anything yet.

Then in 2023, the team hit a home run with Tuli Tuipulotu but the rest of the picks are still up in the air, especially Quentin Johnston, who is not being compared favorably to the other wide receivers that were taken around him in the draft.

Waiving McKitty was the best move for the team considering how he was playing in the chances that he was getting. But it does not change the fact that he is yet another example of bad drafting by the Bolts.