Should the Chargers trade back in the 2022 NFL Draft?

2021 NFL Draft
2021 NFL Draft / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Obviously, if the Chargers find their man at 17 then they should select him. In years past, the Chargers have found fortune in other teams' mistakes. Derwin James and Rashawn Slater, both projected top 10 picks found their way to Los Angeles via luck and luck alone. Other times the Chargers have selected players who fell are Asante Samuel Jr, Desmond King and Nasir Adderley.

An argument can be made that Justin Herbert fell to the Chargers as well due to the fact Miami expressed interest in him weeks before the 2020 draft. We could see this again with Tyler Linderbaum and Demarvin Leal. If either is there, Telesco should pull the trigger.

However, the name on many Bolts fans' minds is Jordan Davis. The bigger-than-life defensive tackle from Georgia has the potential to answer the Chargers' biggest offseason question, how to stop the run. A phenomenal run stopper in college, the 6'6, 340 pounder is eye candy for the inconsistent Chargers defense.

I've watched Davis all throughout college and quite frankly, he isn't special. He's a big body that is an immovable object at times but lacks the stamina, speed and pass-rushing ability to compete at the NFL level. He's a one-two down lineman who benefitted by being surrounded by first-rounders all over that Georgia defense. Will he be able to handle NFL double teams? I don't know but I'm not willing to bet the 17th overall pick on him. I am willing to be the 35th pick on him though.

The 2021 NFL Draft was filled with trades. The Niners trading up for Trey Lance, the Dolphins trading up for Jaylen Waddle, the Eagles trading up for DeVonta Smith, the Bears trading up for Justin Fields are just a few examples of teams willing to move up to get their guy. The Cowboys of the nineties revolutionized the drafting process, assigning values to prospects and to picks. If a player's value didn't justify the value of the pick, they would trade back.

Through this process, the Cowboys won 3 Super Bowls and acquired Hall of Famers Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin and Larry Allen along with Pro Bowlers and/ or All-Pros Daryl Johnson, Mark Tuinei, Ken Norton Jr, Erik Williams, Darren Woodson, Nate Newton, Jay Novacek, and Leon Lett. As far as I see it, Davis is a good prospect but he doesn't have the value to justify that pick. With Herbert, it's all about right now.

The LA Chargers need a good draft.

Here's what I'm proposing. The Detroit Lions have two first-round picks and the 34th overall pick. Detroit has the second overall pick and the Rams' first-round pick. At best, that would be the 28th overall pick. I'd say if the deal is possible, the Chargers should trade their 17th overall pick and a 4th rounder for the Lions' first-rounder from the Rams and their 34th overall pick.

They're rebuilding and in the NFC so the Chargers won't get impacted and Detroit gets to expedite their rebuild while the Chargers pull in value. In this scenario, the Chargers have three picks within the top 50. The Chargers can get Davis as a day two pick, just like the Patriots did with Christian Barmore last year and they still have a first-rounder. Or Davis in the first, Kenneth Walker at 34th and Khalil Shakir from Boise State at 48th. Maybe Jameson Williams in the first, Davis at 34th and Daniel Faalele. Either way, the possibilities are endless.

The Chargers have a lot of holes. Let's be honest, the Chargers should be in the playoffs considering the trajectory of the season but when we step back and analyze the roster, the Chargers are a 5 win team at best. Justin Herbert is a player that elevates teams.

He's transformed Mike Williams from a jump ball wideout to a complete route runner. He's elevated the game of Stephen Anderson, Donald Parham Jr and Austin Ekeler. He's made the Chargers one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL and honestly, the Chargers rarely felt out of any game as long as Herbert was on the field.

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Defensively, the team is horrible. Outside of Derwin James and Joey Bosa, the Chargers have no firepower. Yes, Asante Samuel Jr had his moments and Nwosu came on late but there are a lot of necessary changes that need to be made. There needs to be a "sure bet" at 17, not a hope. It's time to trade back to acquire the necessary player to get the Bolts to the Super Bowl.