Chargers' best-case selection for each potential first-round need
The Chargers' best-possible first-round edge rusher is Nolan Smith
While a lot of fans are daydreaming about the team potentially taking a wide receiver or tight end in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft, there is a very real chance that the team goes with an edge rusher in the first round.
If Flowers or Kincaid are on the board and the Chargers love either player enough then that could be the selection. However, if that is not the situation at hand then edge rusher could become the new priority for the Bolts. If so, Nolan Smith is the best possible candidate who is being mocked in this range.
The Chargers would be a really good place for Smith as well. The intangibles with Smith jump off the page as he is incredibly athletic and has shown proficiency against both the pass and the run. His pass-rush move set could use some development for the NFL level but there is already a very strong foundation there.
LA would present a great place for Smith to play a rotational role in his rookie year and still make an impact, particularly in early downs against the run. He would then get to learn behind Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, eventually replacing Mack as a strong candidate to be an every-down player on the edge.
This may not seem like a first-round need for the Bolts with both Mack and Bosa on the roster but it should be. Tom Telesco has outright ignored edge rushers in recent drafts and that has to change.