Chargers bolster defensive line with Justin Eboigbe selection: Grade and analysis

Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan
Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

The Chargers turned in a very good showing on the second day of the 2024 NFL Draft after taking Joe Alt in the first round. Fans were perplexed why the Chargers stayed put with the fifth pick just to take a tackle but it makes much more sense in the grand scheme of the draft board.

Los Angeles headed into day three of the draft with several positions that the team needed to address. Jim Harbaugh and Joe Hortiz did just that with the team's first pick on day three as the Bolts took Alabama defensive lineman Justin Eboigbe with the 105th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

While there were several talented cornerbacks still on the board that may have seemed like better fits, the Chargers stood true to their best player available strategy with Eboigbe. Eboigbe was the first "reach" of the draft according to the consensus big board, but it is clear that the Chargers like what he brings to the table.

Chargers draft grade for Justin Eboigbe: C+

Selections like this on day three are always tough to gauge as every team has a different big board at this point in the draft. Eboigbe didn't look like a top-100 prospect but the Chargers obviously liked him enough to take him with a 105th pick.

The Chargers probably could have gotten a more impactful player for the 2024 season if the team went with cornerback Cam Hart in the fourth round. Hart would have slide in more seamlessly in a depleted cornerback room and may have made a bigger difference.

That being said, it is not hard to see the traits that the Chargers like in Eboigbe. He is coming from one of the best programs in the country and is a versatile run stuffer who can move around the defensive line.

Eboigbe is not big enough to play nose tackle for the Chargers but he does give the team another depth option to play 3-4 defensive end. He likely won't play many pass-rushing snaps in his rookie season and will be a rotational player who should play 25% of snaps if everyone remains healthy.

Egoibe had a solid pass-rushing season for the Crimson Tide last season, but Chargers fans should not expect him to thrive in the same way in the NFL. His pass-rush skillset needs work as he makes the leap to the NFL. Most of his impact early on will be in the run game.

It is clear the Chargers were prioritizing run-stuffing over pass-rush ability or else the team would have taken Brandon Dorlus with the 105th pick. The defensive line depth also falls off a cliff after the current group of guys, so it makes sense why the Bolts "reached" here for a defensive lineman.

Eboigbe is not the most intriguing pick, and he may not make a huge impact next year, but he could develop into an important defensive lineman in Jesse Minter's defense in 2025 and beyond.

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