The 2023 NFL Draft is in the books and LA Chargers fans have a good idea of what the team is going to look like for the 2023 campaign. The draft not only set up the upcoming season but revealed some of the team's long-term plans as well.
With that in mind, we can start to look toward the future and predict what the Chargers' multi-year vision might be. This includes what positions the team is already penciling in to be early-round needs in the 2024 NFL Draft.
A lot can change between now and next April and there is no guarantee that Tom Telesco or Brandon Staley are even with the team anymore. As it stands right now, though, there are four positions that make the most sense as a potential first-round need in 2024.
Chargers' 4 most likely first-round needs for 2024 NFL Draft:
4. Wide receiver
The Chargers just drafted a wide receiver in the first round since 2017 by taking TCU's Quentin Johnston with the 21st overall pick. Johnston not only fits into this year's receiver room nicely but it is clear there are future plans for him in store.
The Chargers committing a first-round pick to the receiver position all but guarantees that at least one of Mike Williams and Keenan Allen will be gone after the 2023 season. After the bold restructures that Telesco made earlier this offseason, the Chargers simply have to cut ties with one of the receivers to make the salary cap work.
Thus, Johnston is the obvious plan to slot in as the WR2 next year when that happens. However, there are two ways in which the Chargers would once again need a first-round receiver.
The first way would be if the team decides to cut ties with both Allen and Williams. In that case, the Chargers would need another premier wide receiver to play next to Johnston and Joshua Palmer. The other situation would be if Johnston really struggles in his rookie year to the point where the Bolts are not comfortable with him as the WR2 in 2024.