Everything is looking up for the LA Chargers. The team has hired Jim Harbaugh, hired a great GM candidate in Joe Hortiz and is building out a staff around Harbaugh that could wind up being the staff that leads the team to the Super Bowl.
Looking ahead to the offseason, the Chargers have some salary-cap questions to answer, sure, but the team also has the fifth overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. In a year where a lot of quarterbacks are going to go very early, the fifth overall pick is extremely valuable.
Knowing that, trading down in the 2024 NFL Draft might be the best thing the Chargers can do. This would allow the Chargers to acquire even more assets to further build out the new-look roster under Harbaugh. With several roster holes, this would be the best way to check multiple boxes.
It takes two to tango, though, and if there are no teams interested in trading down to five then a deal will never happen. Fortunately for the Chargers, a perfect trade-down partner has potentially emerged with ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reporting that the Minnesota Vikings could look to trade up for a quarterback in the draft.
The Vikings are the perfect team for the Chargers to trade down with
With the 11th overall pick, the Vikings possess a great blend of not asking the Chargers to trade down too far in the draft while also being far enough for the Chargers to get a great package in return. Los Angeles would get more if it had a top-three pick but the return for the fifth pick could still be great.
From a pure draft-pick value standpoint, Minnesota's second-round pick in the draft would be the starting point. According to the NFL Draft Pick Value Chart, the 11th and 42nd picks are worth a combined 1,730 "points". The fifth-overall pick is worth 1,700, making the two virtually identically.
However, as we all know, teams typically have to add more to the table to move up in real time. So while that value lines up, Minnesota may still need to send a future pick in the third round (or perhaps sooner) to get a deal done.
Just how much the Chargers get in return would depend on the quarterback who is still available with the fifth pick and if there are any other teams (such as the Las Vegas Raiders with old friend Tom Telesco) who are also looking to trade up. But at the very least, the Chargers can get that 42nd overall pick.
And that creates a dream scenario for the Chargers. With so many quarterbacks, wide receivers, tackles and edge rushers atop the NFL Draft big board, tight end Brock Bowers could slide all the way to the 11th overall pick. In a perfect world, the Chargers would trade back and draft the player they would have drafted at five anyway.
But instead of just getting Bowers, the Chargers would also get another selection in the top 50, which would properly allow the team to fill out the rest of the holes on the roster.
Minnesota is at the perfect sweet spot to trade down with the Chargers in the 2024 NFL Draft. Hopefully the interest is legitimate and the Chargers are willing to do business.