The 2022 NFL season has officially come to a close with the Kansas City Chiefs winning Super Bowl LVII with the focus now entirely on the offseason. For the LA Chargers, this offseason does not represent as much opportunity as last year. Instead of having ample money to spend, the Bolts have to free up over $20 million in cap space.
With the financial restrictions in place, the 2023 NFL Draft is extremely important for Tom Telesco and the Chargers. The team cannot have a repeat of the 2022 NFL Draft in which all of the team's mid-round picks were non-factors in their rookie season.
The Bolts need to find players who can contribute in their rookie season, especially in the early rounds. Los Angeles is on a pretty good streak with valuable first-round picks and that has to continue in 2023 if the team is going to climb the mountaintop and slay the inevitable dragon that is the Chiefs.
As we head full steam into the offseason there is one first-round prospect that a large contingent of Chargers fans have fallen in love with. Those fans will be extremely pleased, as PFF's Michael Renner mocked this very prospect to the Bolts in his post-Super Bowl mock draft.
Chargers select Michael Mayer in latest 2023 NFL mock draft.
For those unfamiliar with Michael Mayer, he is many people's pick for TE1 in this draft class (although we like a different prospect at the tight end position more). The Notre Dame tight end is extremely well-rounded as he was a vertical threat for the Fighting Irish while also being on the best blocking tight ends in this class.
Mayer would undoubtedly add a new dynamic to this offense if he were to be drafted by the Bolts. Not only would Justin Herbert have another weapon to throw to but the Chargers would get a valuable blocker in the run game, which is so desperately needed.
While this is the best-case scenario for many Chargers fans, the reality is that Mayer may not be available for the Bolts all the way at 21. Mayer is the type of prospect that is only going to rise during the NFL Combine and draft process and by the time April 27 rolls around, Mayer could be a consensus top-15 pick.
What the team does leading up to the draft will also give fans an idea of the direction it will go in the draft. If Gerald Everett is not on the team when the draft rolls around then it might be a guarantee that the Bolts go with a tight end in the first two rounds. If Everett is on the roster then it gets a bit murkier.