Latest NFL Draft intel highlights troubling intentions from the Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers Introduce Jim Harbaugh As Head Coach
Los Angeles Chargers Introduce Jim Harbaugh As Head Coach / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

It is almost time for the 2024 NFL Draft, which will also serve as the launching pad for this new era of Chargers football under Jim Harbaugh and Joe Hortiz. With a strong draft class, Harbaugh and Hortiz can lay the foundation for the team to compete for a Super Bowl in the next half-decade.

The most important selection for the Chargers in the draft is obviously the fifth overall pick. Nailing this pick can be a launching point to contention, just look at what happened to the Cincinnati Bengals after they took Ja'Marr Chase fifth overall.

That is why many fans want the Chargers to draft either Marvin Harrison Jr or Malik Nabers, depending on who is available at five. Both receivers are legitimate franchise guys who can change the entire dynamic of this Chargers offense for years to come.

However, the quarterback-heavy nature of this class has complicated matters. Even though Joe Hortiz has teased what the team will do with the fifth pick, there has been a lot of discourse around the possibility of the Chargers trading down. And after the latest intel from ESPN's Jeremey Fowler, it seems even more likely that the Bolts will move off the fifth pick.

"While the Cardinals at No. 4 can effectively serve as the draft's pivot point for a trade, teams I've spoken to believe the Chargers are eager to trade back at No. 5, too. 'The Chargers have made that clear -- they want to move back,' an NFL executive said. 'They probably want an [offensive] tackle.'"

NFL Draft rumors suggest Chargers will trade back from fifth pick after all

There is so much information flying around as we head into the 2024 NFL Draft that it is impossible to decipher what is real and what is a smoke screen. It is important to note that Bill Belichick did say that real information from teams doesn't come out until 12 hours or so before the draft, so this could all just be smokescreens.

Are the Chargers trying to leverage their position in the draft to try and get a godfather offer for the fifth pick? Or is this all a ploy by the Arizona Cardinals to make quarterback-hungry teams more desperate to trade up? In theory, if Arizona can convince other teams that the Bolts will trade down then it will create a bidding war for the fourth pick.

Regardless of the intent of this information, it is clear that there is a real feeling throughout the league that the Bolts might move back. And while that might seem great on paper, it would be the wrong move.

The Chargers cannot pass on the opportunity to draft a franchise-altering wide receiver, depth be damned. Tackle also is not as big of a need as some fans like to think. This team can survive another year with Trey Pipkins starting at right tackle.

To trade back in the draft, and then take a tackle, would be silly. Sure, the Chargers struggled to build out quality depth in the past but it wasn't because the team never traded down in the draft. It was because of poor roster management and bad decisions later in the draft.

Trading back does not guarantee more depth. And while nothing in the league at all is a guarantee, it is a much more likely outcome that Harrison and/or Nabers turn into legitimate elite receivers than it is for the Chargers to trade back and select two prospects who together can have as big of an impact as one of those two.