Justin Herbert

2 former Justin Herbert teammates that the LA Chargers could draft

Oregon State v Oregon
Oregon State v Oregon / Steve Dykes/GettyImages
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CJ Verdell, Jordan Fox
Oregon v Stanford / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

2. CJ Verdell, Running Back

The LA Chargers have really struggled to fill out the running back room over the last two years. In 2020 they drafted Joshua Kelley in the fourth round and he turned into being a horrible selection. The Bolts doubled down by picking Larry Rountree in the sixth round last year and he too ended up being a bad pick.

I know what you are thinking. Why should the LA Chargers draft yet another running back in the late rounds? The team has four compensatory picks and needs to use them on something. If there are no trade-ups then the team should take another running back that can at least compete for the job in training camp.

CJ Verdell could be one of the most enticing running back selections late in the draft. While he is a bit similar to Austin Ekeler in size and stature, which might turn the Chargers away, he is an explosive, hard-hitting runner that could offer more of the same to Ekeler, which really is not a bad thing with how well Ekeler has played in this offense.

Don't get me wrong, Verdell is no Austin Ekeler and comparing him to one of the best backs in the league is a stretch. They have similar traits and we have seen how those traits translate in the Chargers offense.

Verdell is also comfortable playing in a spread RPO offense from his days with Oregon. While Justin Herbert is under center more in LA, the Chargers really utilized RPOs in 2021 and Verdell's experience with that style makes him more valuable.

Verdell put up some monster numbers for Oregon in his first two years. He played just five games as part of the shortened season in 2020 and got hurt in 2021. That lowers his draft stock and makes him a late-round pick with high upside.

MUST-READ: Full mock draft with the Chargers trading down in round one

Of the possible late-round running back selections, Verdell is one of my personal favorites.

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