Jim Harbaugh compares Ladd McConkey to elite prospect (who Chargers could've drafted)

Ole Miss v Georgia
Ole Miss v Georgia / Perry McIntyre/ISI Photos/GettyImages

After taking Notre Dame tackle Joe Alt with the fifth pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the LA Chargers addressed the need at wide receiver early in the second round on day two. Los Angeles traded up from 37 to 33 to take Georgia's Ladd McConkey, who many think is a first-round talent.

There are high expectations for McConkey in his first season with the Bolts. His shifty route-running, great athleticism, and ability to play both outside and in the slot will make him a consistent target for Justin Herbert. He might not be the most talented rookie receiver in this year's class, but he may produce the most simply from the situation he is in.

That being said, Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh certainly thinks that McConkey has elite traits. In fact, Harbaugh went as far as to compare McConkey to another elite prospect from the 2024 NFL Draft who was tied to the Bolts early on in the draft process (h/t Jonathan Williams, Dawgs Daily).

"He can be an outside recevier, he can be a slot receiver, love the speed, 4.38, but he plays to it, he plays 4.38 [...] Once he's got the ball in his hands, me and Joe were talking about it, he's very Brock Bowers-like, the way he gets yards after the catch."

Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh compares Ladd McConkey to Brock Bowers

McConkey and Bowers were teammates at the University of Georgia and were two key reasons why the Bulldogs' offense was firing on all cylinders last season (when healthy). Granted, McConkey didn't have the cleanest bill of health but when he was out there he played a big role in giving Carson Beck a great set of weapons.

Bowers was tied to the Chargers very early on in the draft process when tight end was still a massive need for the Bolts. However, as the Bolts continued to add to the tight end room in free agency it became clear they were not going to target Bowers in the first.

That being said, there were still some Chargers fans who wanted to see the team trade down for 11 and 23 to take Bowers with the 11th pick. It is hard to blame those fans, as Bowers is a generational tight-end prospect who does just about everything right.

Those same fans are going to be thrilled with this comparison from Harbaugh. Obviously, there are stark differences in their games at different positions, but the fact that Harbaugh sees a similar trait is a very telling sign.

And can you really blame him? Both players are elite athletes in their own right and are dangerous with the ball in their hands. This is going to have a huge impact on the Chargers' offense and how they will be able to balance the pass with the run.

So to any Chargers fans who were upset that the team didn't get Bowers: don't be. Harbaugh seemingly drafted a Bowers of his own.

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