Joe Hortiz all but confirms Chargers' first-round plans in 2024 NFL Draft

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LA Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz met with reporters for the last time prior to the 2024 NFL Draft on Thursday and had a lot to say about the Bolts holding the fifth overall pick.

Hortiz echoed previous sentiments that Jim Harbaugh has already shared about hos the team views the fifth pick as the first-overall pick in a quarterback-heavy draft. The Chargers have a real chance to land a franchise-altering player in the 2024 NFL Draft to kickstart this new era under Harbaugh and Hortiz.

That being said, there is a lot of chatter among the fanbase and in NFL media about the Chargers trading down in the draft. Los Angeles has been circled as a prominent trade-down team with many fans preferring that the Bolts bolster their draft assets instead of taking one top-five player.

Those fans might feel disappointed after Hortiz's press conference on Thursday as the Chargers GM made it pretty obvious what the team is going to do. Trading down does not seem to be the priority for the Bolts, as Hortiz himself admitted that another team would have to massively overpay to get the Chargers to move off the fifth pick.

Joe Hortiz all but confirms Chargers will take a franchise receiver with fifth pick

During the press conference, Hortiz also stressed that the team is looking to take the best player available and that Jim Harbaugh is on board with that decision. The Chargers are not going to drat based on need or this crooked idea that Harbaugh is going to demand an offensive lineman. They are going to draft on talent and talent alone.

It just so happens that the team's biggest need (wide receiver) is also where the most talent is. Marvin Harrison Jr. is the best non-quarterback prospect in this draft and Malik Nabers is right behind him at No. 2. One of the two will certainly be available, and will be the best player.

All the stars are aligning for this to be the reality. The Chargers cut ties with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and have not added a wide receiver yet in free agency. Hortiz believes the team has the best non-quarterback pick in the draft, allowing the team to truly go with the best available.

Sometimes, the most simple path is the one that a team should take and the simplest path for the Chargers is to let the first four picks play out and draft a franchise receiver at five. It may not make for great mock draft content, but it would be the best way to build this roster out for the future.

Don't listen to our arguments for it, just listen to what Hortiz has had to say during this entire draft process.