Chargers' draft decision is easy thanks to this recent Super Bowl team

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

Head coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Joe Hortiz have a very valuable asset in the 2024 NFL Draft as the Chargers have the fifth overall pick. In such a quarterback-heavy draft, the fifth pick is much more valuable in 2024 than it has been in years past.

The draft is always a crapshoot and a big debate around what the Chargers should do in the 2024 NFL Draft has emerged. On one hand, the Chargers could stick with the fifth pick and address the barren wide receiver room. But on the other hand, the Chargers may be able to cash in on a quarterback-heavy team by trading down in the draft.

The opinion among Chargers fans is split with some wanting the team to take receiver and others wanting the team to pick up the 11th and 23rd selection from the Minnesota Vikings. While both routes have merit, one of the two paths is definitely better and the Chargers just need to look at a recent Super Bowl team to see that.

Chargers must follow in Bengals' footsteps with fifth pick

The Cincinnati Bengals had the fifth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft after Joe Burrow's rookie season was cut short due to injury (much like Justin Herbert's season in 2023). At the time, it seemed like the Bengals could not pass up on the need at tackle and should have selected Penei Sewell.

The argument back then was that the Bengals were not one dynamic playmaker away from being a contender, and thus the team should build up the roster by addressing the biggest need. As we all know, that is not the path the Bengals took as the team instead went with Burrow's former LSU wide receiver, Ja'Marr Chase.

The rest was history as Chase and Burrow instantly became one of the best quarterback-receiver duos in the league, leading the team to the Super Bowl. Cincinnati was one touchdown drive at the end of the game away from winning the Super Bowl and Chase was a huge reason why.

You cannot win the Super Bowl without having a dynamic quarterback pass-catcher combo. Patrick Mahomes has had Travis Kelce the last two years (and Tyreek Hill before that), Matthew Stafford had Cooper Kupp, Jalen Hurts had A.J. Brown, Tom Brady had Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski; the list goes on and on.

The Chargers have the chance to add a legitimate franchise receiver with the fifth pick. Marvin Harrison and Malik Nabers are two of the three-best wide receiver prospects to come out of the draft in the last decade (with Chase). This isn't a Mike Williams-level player with the fifth pick. It is a legitimate franchise guy.

One of the two receivers are practically guaranteed to fall to the Chargers; the team simply cannot miss out on the chance to take one of them. Sure, the roster has more holes, but the Chargers aren't trying to win the Super Bowl next season anyway.

And when you look at the next three years of the team, what puts the Bolts in a better situation to win a Super Bowl: having an elite franchise wide receiver with Herbert and then later building up the roster around them with more picks and newfound cap space? Or trading down to take two later prospects, both of which are not as surefire as the wide receiver prospect?

The answer is quite simple. The Chargers should draft a wide receiver with the fifth pick.