The LA Chargers have the 21st pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and need to hit a home run with their selections. The team is not going to be able to add much help thanks to its salary-cap situation, so landing impact players in the draft is a huge priority.
The NFL Combine is officially underway, marking it as the unofficial start of the offseason. With this benchmark now cleared, many draft analysts are putting together updated mock drafts with prospect rankings ever-changing.
It is hard to pinpoint exactly what the Bolts are going to do with the 21st pick. There is not one glaring hole for the team to address in the first round as they can go a variety of directions depending on who is available. Here is who the experts have the Bolts taking in their latest mocks.
Chargers mock draft roundup:
Mel Kiper, ESPN (Subscription required): Jordan Addison, WR, USC
One of the biggest names in the mock draft world has the Chargers taking a hometown prospect in USC's Jordan Addison. Taking a wide receiver in the first round is a real possibility (even if Keenan Allen stays) and Addison might be the most well-polished of the bunch.
Addison may not have that game-breaking speed that Chargers fans are dying to see but he also might be the most sure-first first-round receiver in the 2023 class.
Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports: Jalin Hyatt, WR, Tennessee
Jalin Hyatt is a name that Chargers fans are all-too-familiar with this offseason. While Hyatt may not be as all-around polished as Addison, he is one of the quickest receivers in the entire draft class and has that game-breaking speed that fans have been dying to see.
Based on how the Chargers historically operate, they probably would take the more refined prospect over the speed-threat prospect. That being said, in Trapasso's mock Addison was already off the board (which is likely in real life as well).
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com: Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas
Bijan Robinson is a freak athlete and is by far the best running back in this class. Thus, the interesting debate has already emerged of talent vs. positional value as tape would tell you that Robinson is a first-round talent but running backs have proven time and time again not to be first-round investments.
The Chargers have bigger holes that should definitely be addressed before running back but if Robinson is there for the taking, Tom Telesco (who historically takes best player available over need) may pull the trigger.
Phil Perry, NBC Sports: Jordan Addison, WR, USC (via trade up)
Phil Perry of NBC Sports also has the Chargers taking Jordan Addison in the first round but with a twist. Addison may not fall to the 21st pick so instead, Perry has the Chargers trading up to the 14th overall pick to get him.
In this theorized trade, the Chargers would get pick 14, 107 and 143 from the New England Patriots and would send pick 21 and 53 in return. A first, third and fourth for a first and second.
Most Chargers fans probably would not be happy with this and would likely prefer the team trade down and get more draft assets. However, Tom Telesco has never traded down as the GM of the Chargers (and has traded up multiple times).
It would be frustrating, but not overly shocking if the team did something like this for a prospect that they absolutely love.