Chargers Draft

Why the LA Chargers will inevitably trade down in the 2022 NFL Draft

NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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The LA Chargers have been hard at work improving the roster this offseason. After kicking things off by re-signing Mike Williams to a three-year, deal, the Bolts have brought in new faces in the likes of Khalil Mack, J.C. Jackson, Sebastian Joseph-Day and Austin Johnson, to name the biggest.

The Bolts recently freed up $9 million in newfound cap space by restructuring Mack's deal and now have three potential new targets that they can sign in free agency. Not only can the team improve with this newfound cap space, but the 2022 NFL Draft presents a great opportunity to get an impact player (or two) at the top of the draft and depth with the later picks.

The Bolts have 10 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft but the first pick is far more important than the remaining nine. LA has the 17th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and landing an impact player with the selection will make a huge difference in 2022.

The LA Chargers probably won't stay at 17, though.

The Chargers have traded up in the draft before with Tom Telesco and this time around, the Bolts could be looking to move down in the draft. In fact, it seems like an inevitability at this point that the Bolts will move down in some capacity from the 17th overall pick.

There are three reasons why the Chargers seem destined to trade the 17th pick to move down in the draft order and pick up more draft capital; a move that most fans would probably welcome with open arms. Let's dive into those three reasons.

1. The LA Chargers do not have a second-round pick after trading for Khalil Mack

Will the Bolts be able to get a second-round pick in return for a trade-down at 17? Probably not. But the Bolts could absolutely pick up another third-round pick for moving down in the draft and adding another top-100 pick to the repertoire would be ideal for the Bolts.

While depth is important, the Bolts really should be prioritizing landing as many starting-caliber players as possible. Adding another pick in the top 100 makes that much more likely and if the Chargers managed to land three starting-caliber players with the first three picks then it would be a massive win.

A trade-down made sense for the Chargers even before the Mack deal but after it, it seems inevitable. That is not the only reason why, though.

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