We are officially in 2022 NFL Draft week and the options for the LA Chargers with the 17th overall pick are plentiful. Unlike the last two years, this draft carries an aura of unknown for the Bolts as they could end up surprising us all with their decision in the first round.
ESPN's Todd McShay outlined a potential scenario that would certainly be surprising for Charger fans, and quite frankly, might be the nightmare draft scenario for the Bolts.
In his latest column for ESPN (subscription required), McShay outlined all of the buzz and information he has heard around the 2022 NFL Draft. The Chargers are one of the teams that the NFL Draft insider has heard is interested in tackle Trevor Penning. Another team that is interested in Penning is the New Orleans Saints, who have the 14th overall pick in the draft. McShay writes:
"[The Chargers] would have to find a way to jump ahead of the Saints in line [for Trevor Penning]. "
Why this is a nightmare draft scenario for the LA Chargers:
I am not as sour on Trevor Penning as some others in the Chargers community. That being said, he still is not someone who I am thrilled with the Chargers picking at 17. Trading extra draft capital to move up and take Penning would be even worse.
Penning is simply not in the elite tier of tackles in this draft class and there are holes in his game that will take time to refine. If there were no other options then it would be understandable but there are other options, such as tacking a guard and kicking Matt Feiler out to right tackle. Heck, trading down and taking a guard would be significantly better than taking Penning at 17, let alone moving up for him.
Trading up to 14 (or higher) for Penning would cost either the team's third-round pick in this year's draft or the team's second-round pick in next year's draft (plus some late draft capital). That is simply not worth it for a tackle that many are lukewarm about heading into the draft.
What makes this even worse is the potential alternatives. Very few fans would complain if the team traded up for someone like Derek Stingley, Garrett Wilson, or even Jameson Williams (although I personally am not on the Jameson Williams train). All of those trade-ups make far more sense than trading up for Penning.
Just imagine if Stingley was on the board at 14 and the Chargers traded up only to select Penning. The disappointment in the fanbase would be massive, and rightfully so.