The LA Chargers hosted the Kansas City Chiefs in the most meaningless game of the year in Week 18. Kansas City rested its starters with no playoff implications while the Chargers were down to second and third-stringers in most positions with nothing to play for.
The only thing of consequence for the Chargers (outside of Justin Herbert's shocking haircut) was their place in the 2024 NFL Draft order. The Chargers entered Sunday with the sixth overall pick and the chance to climb to the fourth overall pick if everything went perfectly.
That nearly happened for the Chargers. The New York Giants blew the brakes off of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Chargers lost a closely-fought game against the Kansas City Chiefs. All the team needed was the Arizona Cardinals to beat the Seattle Seahawks and the Chargers would have had the fourth overall pick in the draft.
Then this happened...
Chargers lose out on chance to draft Marvin Harrison Jr. thanks to Matt Prater
With Sunday's action, the Chargers officially have the fifth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Having a top-five pick is great and all but having a top-four pick could have been franchise-altering for the Chargers.
Marvin Harrison Jr. is the reason why. Harrison is the best wide receiver prospect to come into the league in recent years and is exactly the kind of franchise guy that the Chargers should put next to Justin Herbert. If there was ever a sure-fire All-Pro to be in the NFL Draft, it is Harrison.
Harrison falling to the fourth overall pick is by no means a guarantee. It all depends on what the Chicago Bears do with the first overall pick. One thing is for certain: both the Washington Commanders and New England Patriots (picks two and three) are going to pick quarterbacks.
If the Bears trade the first overall pick down to a team that needs a quarterback then the 2024 NFL Draft could very well go quarterback-quarterback-quarterback. That is exactly what happened in the 2021 NFL Draft, and with this stacked QB class, it could happen again.
That would theoretically leave Harrison on the board at No. 4. The Arizona Cardinals do not need a quarterback and instead would be much better off taking Harrison to pair with Kyler Murray. That could have been the Chargers.
Thankfully, Malik Nabers also looks like he can be a franchise-altering wide receiver, he just is not as big of a lock as Harrison. As long as the Bears don't take Harrison (prompting Arizona to take Nabers) then the Chargers should be able to land an impact receiver either way with the fifth pick.
But if both of those receivers are taken then it will likely be Brock Bowers time for the Chargers. Either way, the Chargers can get an exciting offensive prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. It is just a shame that Harrison is no longer an option.