Hometown draft prospect is already paving the way to join the Chargers

NFL Combine
NFL Combine / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

After addressing various needs in free agency the LA Chargers head into the 2024 NFL Draft with a clearer picture of what positions the team needs to draft. While there is some debate within the fanbase on what to do with the fifth pick, there is still a list of prospects the Chargers may draft to fill the various needs on the roster.

Los Angeles' new regime may target players who have ties to the newly-formed coaching staff. That is the approach the team took during free agency. For that reason, the long list of Michigan Wolverines who are in the draft all could be in play for the Bolts.

That has led many to believe that the Chargers will draft Blake Corum but there is another running back with ties to the team that may make more sense. The Chargers hired USC running backs coach Kiel McDonald to coach running backs for the Bolts.

That has naturally opened the door for the Chargers to take USC running back MarShawn Lloyd in the 2024 NFL Draft. Lloyd was asked about potentially being drafted by the Chargers at USC's pro day on Wednesday and it appears that he is already laying the groundwork for a reunion with McDonald.

MarShawn Lloyd would be a perfect addition to the Chargers' running back room

When it comes to fit, it Lloyd is exactly what the Chargers should be looking for in a mid-round running back. Who the Chargers signed in free agency was going to have a big impact on who the team drafts. With someone like Gus Edwards on the roster, taking Lloyd makes much more sense than Corum.

Edwards is the short-yardage, bruising back that uses physicality to be a motor within the tackles. To properly balance out the running game, the Chargers need someone who is more athletic and can operate as a change-of-pace back. Ideally, someone who can bounce outside of the tackles and use his athleticism to make guys miss. The Chargers essentially need a light version of the David Mongomery-Jahymr Gibbs pairing in Detroit.

Lloyd did not run a mind-boggling 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine (4.47) but his athleticism still jumps off the tape. The five-foot-nine back has the uncanny ability to make defenders miss, and can be an impactful player in the passing game as well.

Lloyd may not be on the taller side of backs but he is built like a truck in a similar way to Austin Ekeler. He has legitimate NFL size and strength, making him an impactful pass-blocker as well.

Is Lloyd the only mid-round running back that fits well next to Edwards? Not at all. But his direct connection to the new running backs coach could very well end up being the tiebreaker that makes him a Charger over another prospect.