Chargers' decision with fifth pick is obvious after tantalizing pro day

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

There has been a lot of speculation about what the Chargers are going to do with the fifth pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. On paper, the massive hole at wide receiver should be enough to convince the team to pick one of the top receivers in the draft with the fifth pick.

However, in a class with multiple top-end quarterbacks, there is also the potential of trading down and picking up a king's ransom. The Chargers would not get a top receiver in this year's draft, but it could set up the team for more long-term draft success (so long that they nail the pick they trade down for).

After LSU's pro day on Wednesday, though, the choice seems as obvious as it has ever been. Wide receiver Malik Nabers put on an absolute clinic (which the Chargers were in attendance for) and it now seems impossible to pass on a wide receiver with the fifth pick.

Chargers can't afford to pass on Malik Nabers in 2024 NFL Draft

The Chargers' wide receiver room is barren after releasing Mike Williams and trading Keenan Allen as the team desperately needs a new WR1. Malik Nabers is one of the most special receiving prospects to come out of the draft in recent years and he can be that WR1 in his rookie season.

Taking Nabers with the fifth pick should have already been the consensus route for Chargers fans to root for before his pro day. After his pro day, it is impossible to reasonably ask the Chargers to trade down in the draft and pass on someone who could be a franchise-altering guy.

Los Angeles finds itself in a similar situation as the Cincinnati Bengals in 2021. That Bengals team had a lot of needs with many people shouting from the rooftops that the fifth pick should be an offensive tackle. Instead, the Bengals went with the special LSU wide receiver, Ja'Marr Chase, and it completely changed the entire complexion of the franchise.

The Chargers have the opportunity to do the same thing with Nabers. Nabers is just as special as Chase and if we are looking at the best wide receiver prospects of the last five years, Nabers is in the same group as Chase and Marvin Harrison Jr. (Justin Jefferson is obviously the best, but he was not as big of a home-run prospect).

The only world in which the Chargers shouldn't take Nabers is if Harrison falls to the fifth pick. That seems unlikely, but it is at least possible with the frenzy at quarterback this year.

If it isn't Harrison then it should be Nabers, no questions asked.