Jim Harbaugh reveals surprising candidate who may play center for Chargers

Verizon Press Conference at Verizon LIVE at Super Bowl LVIII
Verizon Press Conference at Verizon LIVE at Super Bowl LVIII / Mike Coppola/GettyImages

One of the biggest holes that the Chargers have to fill this offseason is the one that Corey Linsley is leaving behind. Linsley, who was still playing at an elite level, missed all but three weeks of last season after being put on the non-football injury list with a non-emergent heart issue. This has led to Linsley's retirement this offseason.

Replacing Linsley is no small feat and the Chargers are not going to be able to find someone as good as him in 2024. But the team still has to try and Joe Hortiz has already made one addition, signing Bradley Bozeman to a one-year deal after he was released by the Carolina Panthers.

Bozeman is not a long-term option for the Bolts and is more of a stopgap option. For that reason, it is common belief that the Chargers will draft the center of the future in the 2024 NFL Draft, likely on day three.

But that might not end up being the path the Chargers take as head coach Jim Harbaugh sees some center potential in a current member of the Chargers' roster. Harbaugh specifically mentioned second-year offensive lineman Jordan McFadden as a candidate to play center for the Bolts (h/t Daniel Popper, The Athletic).

Jordan McFadden become surprise candidate to play center for Chargers

Nobody had Jordan McFadden playing center on their Chargers bingo card before Harbaugh's comments as the second-year lineman has never played center. McFadden has not played center in any snaps in college or the pros.

That being said, there is obviously a lot of overlapping skillset and McFadden has already proven that he is a versatile offensive lineman. Lining up at different spots on the offensive line has not bothered McFadden in the past, so a potential move to center shouldn't be an issue, either.

If the skill set is there then the skill set is there and it will be up to Harbaugh and the rest of the coaching staff to evaluate McFadden and see if this is a real opportunity for him to start for the Bolts. He definitely still won't be the starter in 2024, but if the Chargers are confident enough in him then the team may not feel the need to draft a center this year.

Instead, the Chargers could opt to use the selection they likely would have used on a center on a swing tackle instead. That is a big area of need for the Bolts, and may allow the Chargers to essentially knock out two birds with one stone.