Chargers NFL Draft grades: Joe Alt selection is as puzzling as it gets

NFL Combine
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The LA Chargers surprised the fanbase by making the one selection that was unpopular: staying put with the fifth pick and taking a tackle. Los Angeles picked Notre Dame tackle Joe Alt with the fifth pick, discouraging Chargers fans around the world in the process.

Chargers fans were expecting the team to either trade back from the fifth pick to take a tackle or to take a wide receiver with the fifth pick. The Bolts did neither and just made the rest of the 2024 NFL Draft very interesting as there are several massive holes that need to be filled.

The temperature of the room is not great in Los Angeles right now. But are Chargers fans being justified? Let's break down the selection.

Chargers NFL Draft grade for Joe Alt selection: C-

Look, the pick is extremely disappointing because of the other needs the Chargers have on the roster. The Chargers could have added a legitimate top receiver in Nabers but instead decided to draft a tackle they could have survived without.

Los Angeles is going to have Alt switch positions to right tackle (which is easier said than done) and is going to be paying Trey Pipkins $9 million to be a swing tackle. It is not great asset management, and quite frankly, the Chargers had a better chance of improving the offensive line later in the draft and with coaching. Wide receiver cannot be fixed the same way.

Plus, after taking Alt, the Chargers still have two massive holes at starting positions (wide receiver, cornerback). The Chargers can only address one of those positions in the second round. Thus, either receiver or corner is naturally going to get looked over, not addressed as early as it should, and result in a bigger roster hole come September.

That being said, the selection doesn't get a failing grade because Alt is still a very good player. Alt is the best tackle in this class for a reason and in a world where Quentin Johnston was actually good last year, this pick would not be concerning.

But Johnston wasn't good, and the rest of the wide receiver room isn't good. Now the Chargers better just hope that they can properly establish the run behind Alt, and that he can protect Herbert long enough for this receiver room to get open.

If the Bolts would have taken JC Latham then it would have gotten a failing grade. By taking Alt, the Chargers get a cold-hard 70%. C-.

Maybe the Chargers hit a home run in the second round with a receiver. That would definitely make this selection better. But there is so much variability with second-round receivers that should make Chargers fans worry.