Joe Alt towers over Chargers legend in must-see photo for Bolts fans

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After weeks of deliberation about whether or not the team was going to trade down, the LA Chargers ultimately stayed put with the fifth overall pick and used it to select Notre Dame offensive tackle, Joe Alt.

The selection was considered a surprising one at the time as many fans assumed the team would draft Malik Nabers and his immensely high ceiling or trade down to get a tackle. Taking a tackle at five seemed like one of the least likely outcomes.

As surprising as the selection may have been, it does not take away from how talented Alt is. The 21-year-old has all the tools to be a very good offensive tackle for a very long time. He definitely has NFL size as well, as evident from his recent photo with former Chargers edge rusher Shawne Merriman.

Chargers rookie Joe Alt towers over Shawne Merriman

Shawne Merriman may no longer be in NFL shape but he is still a very big human being who looks absolutely tiny next to Alt. Alt was measured at six-foot-nine and 321 pounds during the NFL Combine and he looks all of that in this photo next to Merriman.

Size alone does not make a player an elite blocker but it certainly can help. Alt obviously has all the fundamentals to be a foundational tackle for many years and the fact he is a towering presence is only going to elevate his ceiling in the league and prolong his NFL career.

As shocking as the selection was at the time, it is not hard to see why Jim Harbaugh and the Chargers fell in love with Alt when he is towering over someone as big as Merriman.

If the Chargers are going to rebuild under Harbaugh and eventually compete for a Super Bowl then Alt is going to have to play a big factor. And while fans have not seen him line up against NFL competition yet, seeing him compared to a former elite pass-rusher definitely adds to the excitement that is already surrounding Alt.

Paired with Rashawn Slater at left tackle, the Chargers may have created the best young tackle duo in the entire league by selecting Alt. It might not be as flashy as a franchise wide receiver, but this is how Harbaugh and general manager Joe Hortiz have decided to build out the team.