Chargers' chances of drafting prominent prospect just dwindled significantly

Los Angeles Chargers Introduce Jim Harbaugh As Head Coach
Los Angeles Chargers Introduce Jim Harbaugh As Head Coach / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The LA Chargers enter a new era with Jim Harbaugh as head coach and Joe Hortiz as general manager. Harbaugh and Hortiz are looking to build on the strong foundation in place in Los Angeles and instantly turn the team into a contender next season.

The most important tool at the duo's disposal to make this happen is the 2024 NFL Draft. A great draft class can accelerate a rebuild as early as year one, just look at what happened with the Houston Texans in 2023. With such a strong foundation in place, a good draft class can make the Chargers a true Super Bowl contender.

There are a lot of big draft names that have been tied to the Chargers with the fifth overall pick, as well as some prominent prospects in the later rounds that could be drafted by LA. If the Chargers got lucky, a high-ranking prospect (like Jonathan Brooks) would fall in the draft, allowing the Bolts to capitalize on exceptional value.

Unfortunately for the Chargers, the possibility of Brooks specifically falling to LA seems to be off the table. The only reason Brooks would slide is injury concerns, and those concerns are starting to be quelled as the draft approaches.

Jonathan Brooks is likely off the table for the Chargers

Brooks is widely considered by many to be the most talented running back in the 2024 NFL Draft and if it was not for his ACL injury, there would probably be discussions around if a team would take the chance on him in the first round. Brooks is by no means a Jahmyr Gibbs or Bijan Robinson, but he definitely could have jumped into the first round if he was healthy.

With his injury, many project Brooks to go late in the second round. If teams were really concerned about his injury, and had other running backs that they liked, then there was a chance for the Chargers to steal Brooks with the 69th pick. That does not seem possible if the injury concerns are quelled.

Instead, this promising update from Ian Rapoport all but confirms that Brooks will be taken in the second round. There will naturally be a team with an extra pick (Philadelphia Eagles) or a team without pressing needs (Baltimore Ravens) that will jump on the chance to land the best running back in the draft in round two.

Sure, the Chargers should be able to take Brooks with the 37th overall pick but there are too many roster needs to justify that selection. Unless the Chargers trade back and pick up another second-round pick, it would be bad roster building if the team took a running back that early.

Thus, any Chargers fans who were hopeful for Brooks to be in powder blue last season are going to be a tad bit let down. All signs are pointing to him going elsewhere in the 2024 NFL Draft.