LA Chargers: Position candidates for 2022 first-round pick

Jun 1, 2021; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco
Jun 1, 2021; Costa Mesa, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LA Chargers' potential 2022 first-round need: 3. Tackle

I went back and forth between tackle and guard for the third spot on this list and ultimately went with tackle for several reasons. And yes, even though the Chargers drafted Rashawn Slater in the first round this year they could still draft a tackle next year.

This is not at all to predict that Slater is not going to be a good offensive lineman because at the worst he is going to be an average NFL offensive lineman. At the worst. This is simply the team's quest to build an offensive line that can hold up for years and it starts in the NFL Draft.

There are several reasons why tackle is more likely than guard. First is Bryan Bulaga, who is only getting older and can be cut for only $3.33 million in dead cap space next season if he has another season like his 2020 season.

Even if Bulaga is fine, the team is going to want to build depth at the position, especially with the possibility of moving Slater to guard. Slater can realistically play anywhere on the offensive line and perhaps the best-case Chargers O-line is Slater at left guard with another first-round prospect at left tackle.

I would put my money on him staying at tackle but that certainly is a possibility.

The third reason is draft value. Tackles have more value than guards and get taken in the first round at a far higher rate than guards do. For that reason, unless there is a knockout guard option available, the Chargers could lean tackle.

Yes, it is boring, but if the other positions on this list end up working out or the Chargers add to them in free agency next year then Tom Telesco could go with another "boring" (but solid) pick.