NFL Draft Rumors: Patriots may throw huge wrench into Chargers' hopes and dreams

New England Patriots v Los Angeles Chargers
New England Patriots v Los Angeles Chargers / Joe Scarnici/GettyImages

It is officially NFL Draft week and the amount of speculation around what is going to happen in the first round has reached an all-time high. After weeks of debate about what the LA Chargers are going to do with the fifth pick, it seems pretty clear that the Chargers intend to stay put with the pick and draft one of two franchise wide receivers.

As great as Malik Nabers would be for the Chargers, the best-case scenario is Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr. falling to the Chargers with the fifth pick. Harrison is the best wide receiver prospect to come into the league in quite some time and as the draft has gotten closer, the odds of him falling to five have grown significantly.

That being said, the draft is a crapshoot and the four picks before the Chargers could go in a myriad of ways. Nothing is truly off the table, including the New England Patriots throwing a wrench into everyone's plan and making a move that doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense for the franchise, per Dianna Russini of The Athletic.

NFL Rumors: Patriots considering trading down, which would hurt the Chargers

Even without Bill Belichick, it looks like the New England Patriots might get cute with it and try to pull off some sly move with the third pick. In reality, the best move the Patriots can make is to simply stay put at three and draft whichever quarterback falls to them in the draft. That is what the Chargers did with the sixth pick back in 2020 and look what happened.

But alas, the Patriots may like someone who isn't one of the top three quarterbacks and the team may think it can move down, pick up more capital, and still draft the guy they always wanted. That strategy, of course, is risky as it would open up variables out of the Patriots' control.

This impacts the Chargers as it could result in Harrison not falling to the fifth pick after all. If the Patriots end up trading down with a quarterback-hungry team at three then the Arizona Cardinals may not get the home-run trade offer they were expecting to get with the fourth pick.

And if there are no home-run trade offers to accept, the Cardinals would benefit from simply taking the best prospect available, which is obviously Harrison. Then the Chargers would simply have to take the next best guy, who is Nabers.

Nabers is a very talented receiver who would be a WR1 in most classes, so this is by no means an awful second-place prize. Nabers has all the skills to be an All-Pro wide receiver in the future and can absolutely step in as the WR1 in his rookie year.

But it still would sting a bit knowing that the odds of Harrison falling to five have actually grown, getting Chargers fans' hopes up in the process.