The LA Chargers have uncharacteristically been very bold this offseason and if that should teach fans anything this offseason it is to expect the unexpected. That logic applies to the 2022 NFL Draft as well.
Los Angeles has the 17th overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft with various different directions to potentially take with the pick. There are several holes on the roster that could be filled — and may also be filled in free agency as well.
While the most likely outcome still appears to be the Chargers staying at 17 and picking the best player available, there are three surprising decisions that Tom Telesco and Brandon Staley could make in the draft that fans should be prepared for.
1. The LA Chargers trade out of the first round altogether
Many fans want to see the LA Chargers trade down in the 2022 NFL Draft and the Pittsburgh Steelers have been highlighted with the 20th overall pick. The Steelers need a quarterback and may look to jump another potential quarterback-hungry team, the New Orleans Saints, who have the 18th overall pick.
In theory, the Chargers could move down in the first round and pick up an extra third-round pick (to help replace the second-round pick the team lost in the Khalil Mack trade). That would not be totally unexpected, however, what would be unexpected is the Bolts trading out of the first round altogether.
This could happen one of two ways. First, there could be a team that is really hungry for a prospect with the 17th overall pick and is willing to move all the way up in order to get that prospect. These teams would likely have an early second-round pick. A potential candidate could be a team like the New York Jets, who have the 35th and 38th overall picks in the draft.
Could the Chargers persuade the Jets to trade both of those picks for the 17th pick if there is someone the team really likes? Maybe. The Jets tried to trade both picks for Tyreek Hill and if there is a top receiver still on the board (assuming they don't pick one with their two top-10 picks) then they could very well move up to get them.
The 17th overall pick is worth 950 "points" on the NFL Trade Value Chart, while picks 35 and 38 are worth 1,070. If the Chargers throw in a late-round pick it is feasible but only if the Jets really like someone at pick 17.
Another route the team could take is trading down (with a team like Pittsburgh) to pick up a third-round pick and then trading down again to get more draft capital. In this situation, the Chargers could end up with an early second-round pick and three total third-round picks.