With the 54th pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers select: UCLA RB Zach Charbonnet
The Chargers held a Top 30 visit with UCLA's Zach Charbonnet. That's in addition to also meeting with TCU's Kendre Miller. There is work being done on day two backs in Los Angeles.
Charbonnet tends to rank as the third-best consensus running back of the class behind Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs. In a year where there wasn't an absolute freak of a prospect like Robinson at the top, Charbonnet probably wouldn't be far off from some late first, early second-round buzz. The UCLA running back totaled 1358 yards last season on 7.0 yards per carry.
At 6'0" and 214 pounds, Charbonnet has the frame to be a true workhorse back in the league. Despite his measurements, he's not really a slower, plodding power back as one might expect at that size. He registered an 8.71 RAS, forced 53 missed tackles last year, and averaged 4.15 YAC per attempt. Charbonnet registered a 6.8% explosive run rate as well.
Charbonnet would give the Chargers true every-down running back value that they haven't had in a while.
As good as Austin Ekeler (yeah, that situation is another reason for this selection) has been, the Chargers never really gave him 20+ carries and asked him to push for those 1-2 extra yards needed on certain plays. The Chargers need to be able to have more options on third down and that includes potentially running the rock on occasion.
A day two option like Charbonnet could really help their offensive versatility, both this year with Ekeler and next year without him.