With the NFL Draft coming up in about a week, the waters are still extremely murky for Chargers fans. The last two seasons have been fairly easy to gauge the draft strategy. Drafting a tackle in 2021 was a must and drafting a quarterback in 2020 seemed obvious due to the recent departure of long-time franchise quarterback Philip Rivers.
This year isn't so obvious. There are many different directions that the Chargers could go. Offensive line, wide receiver, defensive tackle and cornerback seem to be the consensus four areas that the Chargers are most interested in addressing. The issue with these positions is that the most coveted prospects could potentially be gone by the time pick 17 comes along.
There are certain players that, if they slide, the Chargers should certainly draft. Examples of some of those players are Derek Stingley Jr., Charles Cross, Jameson Williams, and Jordan Davis. There are a few more players that Chargers would certainly be happy with if drafted at pick 17, but those four players all seem like they could be day one starters and difference-makers on the Chargers.
If pick 17 is up and the best tackle available is Trevor Penning, I don't think many Chargers fans would have an issue with trying to get some more picks and trade back.
Here are three potential trade-back packages for the LA Chargers:
1. Trade back to 20 with the Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are in a very unique spot in this year's NFL Draft. They eventually need to upgrade at quarterback, but currently have Mitchell Trubisky who could fill the void that Ben Roethlisberger left for a couple of years.
If they see a quarterback that is available and think that Philadelphia or New Orleans might draft him right before pick 20, they might want to call the Chargers over pick 17. This scenario would only work if both Philadelphia and New Orleans went in a different direction from quarterback with picks 15 and 16 and were waiting until picks 18 and 19 to draft their guy. If picks 15 and 16 are not quarterbacks and the top quarterbacks are not already off the board, then pick 17 becomes extremely valuable.
For the Chargers to give up their pick to Pittsburgh, it would likely take a 3rd-4th round pick. Mid-round picks are extremely valuable in this year's draft because it isn't quite as top-heavy in terms of skill position players like previous drafts. There are many solid options at wide receiver, tight end, and running back that could be available in rounds three and four. With this hypothetical let's say the deal ends up looking like this:
Chargers receive pick 20 and pick 84, Steelers receive pick 17