What the Chargers can learn from the Chiefs and Eagles
A financial NEED for instant contributors from the draft
Looking at the Eagles' 2021 draft class or the Chiefs' 2022 draft class just makes the Chargers' recent draft classes pale by comparison. Yes, the tops of the Chargers' most recent classes are significant in the discussion of their drafting. Getting Rashawn Slater and Zion Johnson in back-to-back years on the offensive line was great for the team.
But the Chargers just haven't gotten a full set of contributors from their recent draft selections. Johnson and Jamaree Salyer were the only two players who could say they significantly contributed to games this year. Not to say that Ja Taylor or Zander Horvath were bad picks (yet) by any means. The jury is also still out on JT Woods and other players.
But while Isaiah Spiller completely struggled to see the field this year, Isiah Pacheco has been on a heater of a late-season run for Kansas City. Each of the Eagles' first six picks of their 2021 class is making key contributions to their playoff run. The value that the Chiefs are getting out of the aforementioned Pacheco and seventh-round pick Jaylen Watson during this playoff stretch is crazy.
The Chargers are gonna be very tight on the cap this year. They're going to be even more against the cap whenever Herbert signs his long-term deal. If the Eagles and Chiefs can pick out 4-5 contributors each year in the draft that play significant roles, Telesco has to reevaluate some of his beliefs on project players and the traits he scouts for that make them more developmental. They need more than a few of their year-one rookie contributions in 2023 to play at a surplus contract value level.