We are just one day away from the 2022 NFL Draft and Chargers rumors surrounding what the Bolts might be looking to do with the 17th overall pick are starting to emerge.
Earlier this week, we broke down the reasons why cornerback seems like a surefire lock to be the Bolts' choice with the 17th overall pick. The latest Chargers rumors surrounding their draft process heading into Thursday's first round supports this thought process.
According to the Guilty As Charged Podcast, a source with knowledge of the Chargers' draft preparations thinks that both Washington cornerbacks Trent McDuffie and Kyler Gordon are in play in the first round for the LA Chargers.
In our final first-round mock draft we had McDuffie falling to the Chargers with the 17th overall pick and being the selection. However, if McDuffie didn't fall to the Chargers, we outlined another defensive back prospect that the Chargers could "reach" for. Selecting Gordon certainly would be a "reach" as well.
Gordon is projected by many to be a second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft but as we see every year, prospects go higher than expected, especially at premier positions like cornerback. Gordon ranks 34th on the consensus big board heading into the draft, so selecting him in the first round is not that massive of a reach for LA.
What these Kyler Gordon Chargers rumors could mean for the 17th overall pick:
While Gordon is a solid cornerback prospect and definitely has the traits that Brandon Staley can talk himself into, picking him with the 17th overall pick would be a bit too rich, in my opinion. If McDuffie is off the board and the Chargers truly do have Gordon as CB4 on their board (assuming no other highly-rated prospect falls) then a trade-down is in play.
How far the Chargers trade down depends on who actually wants to move up and how far they think Gordon will fall. The Pittsburgh Steelers at 20 would be a comfortable place to trade down but they might not even want to move up, instead letting a quarterback fall to them. That could change if the Saints don't take a quarterback at 15, though.
Then there is a team like the Dallas Cowboys, who have interest in potentially trading up and would net the Chargers a third-round pick in return. If the Chargers really want to trade down, they could call a team like the Kansas City Chiefs, who have too many draft picks that they cannot actually afford under the salary cap this season.
A move from 17 to 30 could be enough to get a second-round pick in return, especially if there is a prospect who the Chiefs really rank highly on the board at 17.
Gordon potentially being high on the Chargers' board is no surprise to me due to the overlooked need at cornerback as well as the traits that Gordon has as a prospect. That being said, it would be a bit shocking if the Chargers picked him 17 without at least trying to move down first.