Chargers may live to regret letting Chiefs draft day 3 hidden gem

NFL Combine
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The first draft with Jim Harbaugh and Joe Hortiz is in the books and it is safe to say that LA Chargers fans are happy with the draft class. The early reception to the class is beyond positive, even if we won't truly know the value of the class for another few years.

As great as this class looks, it is not controversial to say that no draft class is perfect. When we all look back at this class in four years, there will be at least one or two decisions that change with hindsight. That is simply the nature of the draft and is inevitable, regardless of how well a team drafts.

That will inevitably happen with this Chargers draft class and there is one decision that already might be worth turning our heads at without even needing hindsight. This is not to take away from the draft class as the overall class still appears to be solid, but it might have been even better.

It would have looked like an even better draft class on paper if the Chargers had taken Penn State center Hunter Nourzad on day three of the draft. Los Angeles certainly had the chance, but unfortunately, Nourzad fell to the worst team possible.

Chargers may regret letting Hunter Nourzad fall to the Chiefs

Kansas City drafted Nourzad with the 159th pick in the fifth round of the draft. The Chargers had two picks in the fifth round and opted to take two cornerbacks, one of which was a massive surprise in Tarheeb Still.

While the Still selection made more sense after the Bolts took Cam Hart five picks later, it might have just been better to take one cornerback and then take the exciting center prospect. Still is a slot-only corner and the Chargers have a cornerback room full of guys who are better in the slot. Hart is the prospect with the higher ceiling, and just taking him probably would have been enough.

If we could jump into a DeLorean and get into Hortiz's ear, we would take Hart with the 105th pick in the draft and then take Nourzad with the 110th pick. Perhaps the Chargers were hoping Nourzad would fall to the sixth round but he was too good of a prospect for that to happen.

The Chiefs have continued to prioritize the center position and the interior offensive line more than any other team in the league. The fruit of those labors may not pay off right away with Nourzad but there is a good chance they eventually do considering the Chiefs' track record.

Nourzad is a great young center option who can provide depth, sit for the time being, and grow into a legit NFL center. The same situation could have existed in LA with Nourzad sitting behind Bradley Bozeman for a year before taking over the starting job.

This is reminiscent of the Chiefs getting Creed Humphrey late in the second round in 2021. Chargers fans were happy with Rashawn Slater and Asante Samuel Jr. but Humphrey was someone who fans had circled before the draft.

In that same draft, the Chargers could have selected Trey Smith, who went in the sixth round after falling on the big boards. For whatever reason the Bolts didn't and Smith has since turned into a very important starter on the Chiefs' offensive line.

With how special Nourzad is as a prospect, there is a chance that Chargers fans look back at this decision in a similar way as the Smith decision. And of course, he had to go to the team's most-hated rival.

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