Chargers GM Joe Hortiz may have revealed the team's 2024 first-round pick

2018 NFL Draft
2018 NFL Draft / Tom Pennington/GettyImages

The LA Chargers have not made any moves as it pertains to next year's roster but the organization has still been incredibly busy. After hiring Jim Harbaugh, the Chargers have made many moves to build out the rest of his coaching staff and the rest of Joe Hortiz's front office.

Hortiz spoke to the media earlier this week and gave the Chargers a sense of a new beginning in the process. Hortiz proved multiple times that he does not operate in the same way as former GM Tom Telesco, which was music to every single Chargers fan's ears.

One of the main talking points of Hortiz's introductory press conference was his love for compensatory picks and how valuable they can be in building out a roster. A team gets compensatory picks for internal free agents that leave in free agency, with the value of said picks depending on a combination of the player's new contract, their playing time, and any accolades they win.

The Chargers did not get many compensatory picks under Telesco and that may change over the next several years with Hortiz. In fact, the Chargers are in a position to get compensatory picks for the 2025 NFL Draft with this year's free-agent class. And by expressing his unbridled love for these comp picks, Hortiz may have unintentionally revealed who the Chargers want to take with the fifth pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Joe Hortiz's comments hint at Brock Bowers being the Chargers' first-round pick

Hortiz talking about comp picks may not have any obvious link to picking Bowers in the first round but let's really think about the free agents who the Chargers could get a comp pick for this offseason.

There are two free agents who have a decent chance of being signed for enough that the Chargers could get a comp pick: running back Austin Ekeler and tight end Gerald Everett. Ekeler's future with the team has been decided for months, while Everett's future with the team was very much up in the air.

You could certainly make a case for re-signing Everett, especially if Bowers was not in the team's plans in the draft. However, letting Everett walk so the team can recoup a compensatory pick, only to arguably upgrade with Bowers, seems exactly like the kind of long-term move that Hortiz would make.

Plus, selecting Bowers in the first round goes with everything we know about Jim Harbaugh and new offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Harbaugh is going to want the Chargers to dominate in the trenches and to do that, they need a tight end who can get dirty in blocking while also being a pass-catching threat.

Just look at Roman's previous offenses, they all included dynamic tight ends. In Baltimore he had Mark Andrews to be Lamar Jackson's main target and in San Francisco, he had Vernon Davis as one of the most important offensive weapons on the team.

From a coaching standpoint, Bowers makes a world of sense. With Hortiz's love of comp picks, it makes it far more likely that the team will let Everett walk, making tight end one of the biggest needs on the roster.

All the stars are aligning for Brock Bowers to be a Charger in 2024, even if he prefers to play for another team instead.

Next. Bold predict. Bold predictions for Harbaugh's first offseason in LA. dark