Chargers must avoid this running back prospect after disappointing NFL Combine

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NFL Combine is officially in the books and with its conclusion, the 2024 offseason has unofficially begun. The combine is typically a launching-off point for NFL activity and the LA Chargers wasted no time to make a move, cutting veteran linebacker Eric Kendricks shortly after the combine.

Tom Telesco left new general manager Joe Hortiz with quite a few roster holes that need to be addressed this offseason and not much wiggle room to work with. Some of the holes can be addressed with cheap signings in free agency but others are naturally going to have to be filled with the 2024 NFL Draft.

That is why the combine is so important as it gives the Chargers a chance to see these prospects in person. This can cause a drastic change in a team's draft board and after this year's combine, there is one running back prospect who was promising that the team should probably now steer clear of.

Chargers must avoid Bucky Irving in 2024 NFL Draft

Heading into the NFL Combine, Oregon's Bucky Irving was viewed as one of the better prospects the Chargers could take at running back in the middle rounds. After all, Irving's production at Oregon cannot be ignored and his tape was very promising.

Combine testing doesn't always tell the entire story and in the right system, Irving has all the tools to be successful. However, with what the Chargers are trying to build, they simply have to go in another direction at the running back position.

There were several really promising running backs who tested very well at the combine who were already in the same conversation as Irving in terms of draft value. There is more upside with guys like Braelon Allen or Marshawn Lloyd than there is with Irving.

The Chargers have whiffed on several slower, unathletic running backs in recent drafts. Larry Rountree had an RAS score of 2.01, Isaiah Spiller had an RAS score of 5.68 and Joshua Kelley had an RAS score of 7.63. Kelley's RAS score is the only moderately decent score, and it still is nothing to be excited about.

A good RAS score does not always indicate success as there are a lot of prospects who are extremely athletic but do not have the football skills to match. But when there are two players who are of similar value and talent, athleticism should absolutely play a role, especially at a position like running back.

There were simply too many promising running backs who tested very well at the 2024 NFL Combine. Irving was not one of them, and he should have plummeted down the Chargers' draft board as a result.