The one area of the LA Chargers roster that fans have some reservations about as the team heads into training camp is right tackle. Los Angeles did not address the right tackle position at all in the offseason and appears to be rolling with either Trey Pipkins or Storm Norton.
Norton allowed the second-most pressures in the league last season and the last time we saw him he was getting torched by Maxx Crosby in Week 18. Meanwhile, Pipkins was drafted as a developmental tackle in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft and struggled when he got his chances. For many, the Pipkins ship has sailed.
For that reason, a trade for a right tackle might seem like an easy decision for the Chargers to make. That is at least what Ian Wharton of Bleacher Report thinks. Wharton broke down one trade that he thinks each NFL team should make and for the Chargers, Wharton argues that the Bolts should trade a 2023 second and fourth-round pick for tackle Mekhi Becton (h/t Maddie Schmidt, Guilty as Charged).
Does this Mekhi Becton trade make sense for the LA Chargers?
Mekhi Becton is still only 23 years old and it is not that long ago that he was taken with the 11th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Becton had a decent rookie season and there is a world in which he could reach his potential and give the Chargers a cornerstone right tackle to match their cornerstone left tackle.
That being said, there are also a lot of red flags with Becton. He missed the entire 2021 season with injury and while he had a decent rookie season, it certainly was not anything that turns heads. Plus, the entire idea of this trade should be a red flag for the Chargers.
If the Jets, who also have a young quarterback they are trying to protect, are shopping Becton this early in his NFL career then that should tell you something. New York is not shopping Becton if the team thinks that he is a future Pro Bowler that can anchor this offensive line.
The counter-argument to that is that the Chargers could bring Becton in and develop him to reach his potential. But why? The team already has a developmental tackle in Pipkins. Pipkins' ceiling might not be as high as Becton but why take another team's problem and try to make it your solution?
The Chargers need every pick in the 2023 NFL Draft that they can get to replace the players they are not going to be able to afford to re-sign after the 2022 season. They all but told us that when they traded two seventh-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft to get the sixth-round pick next year back from the Chicago Bears.
Plus, I don't think it is crazy to say that Pipkins might just be better than Becton next season. What has Becton done besides being a first-round pick to prove to us that he is some elite prospect?