Chargers' offensive line plans make Joe Alt selection look even more baffling

Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos
Los Angeles Chargers v Denver Broncos / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

When the LA Chargers selected Joe Alt with the fifth pick in the 2024 NFL Draft many Chargers fans assumed that Trey Pipkins would be benched. After all, Pipkins started at right tackle last season for the Bolts and that is the only place that seems to make sense for the newest Chargers offensive lineman.

Head coach Jim Harbaugh and GM Joe Hortiz spoke to the media after making the selection and confirmed that Rashawn Slater is locked in as the team's left tackle, meaning that Alt would have to switch sides.

However, there still may be room for Pipkins on the starting offensive line, after all, When discussing how this offensive line puzzle will go together, Harbaugh commented that the team still views Pipkins as one of the five best offensive linemen and that he is viewed as a starter. The only question is... where?

Chargers' plan for Trey Pipkins makes Joe Alt selection even more baffling

So the Chargers view Pipkins as a starter, still seemingly intend to play him as a starter, but still thought it was a good idea to take Alt? Either Harbaugh is outright lying about Pipkins, or he is making this selection even more puzzling for Chargers fans.

If the Chargers truly view Pipkins as a starter (we here at Bolt Beat do, he just needs better coaching) then you would think the team would have taken Malik Nabers. Sure, Hortiz is all about taking the best player available and not drafting for need but when you have two special players like Alt and Nabers, it is okay to favor the position of need if they are No. 2 on the team's big board.

But alas, the Chargers went with Alt and now it appears like the team is going to experiment with Pipkins as a guard. Neither guard cliched their starting spot in 2023, even though Zion Johnson is a former first-round pick. The door is seemingly open for Pipkins to start at guard if he has a better camp.

Will that work? Well, that is yet to be seen. If any fans didn't feel good about Pipkins at right tackle then they should feel worse about him at guard. Pipkins is better in pass protection and is worse against the run, naturally making him a worse fit as a guard in what will likely be a run-heavy offense.

None of this might even matter, though, if Herbert doesn't have anyone to throw the ball to as nobody could get open downfield.

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