NFL mock draft: 4 biggest 2024 draft needs for the Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers v Minnesota Vikings
Los Angeles Chargers v Minnesota Vikings / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages
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3. Running back

The Chargers have had one of the best running backs under center for a long time. Austin Ekeler has been the best dual-threat running back not named Christian McCaffrey since he took over the starting job from Melvin Gordon, who was one of the best young backs in the sport before he left.

Before Gordon, there was Ryan Mathews. Mathews was by no means an all-timer, but he was a solid back who had some really good seasons in the powder blue. Before Mathews' time was LaDainian Tomlinson. We don't need to make his case about being great.

The Chargers are at another potential crossroads at the running back position as Ekeler is a free agent and is definitely going to sign with whatever team offers him the most money. With the financial situation the Chargers are in, that likely won't keep him in LA.

Joshua Kelley is also a free agent and hasn't shown the ability to be an RB1 while Ekeler is out. He cannot be the answer. Isaiah Spiller was probably supposed to be the long-term answer but he hasn't shown anything in his two seasons as a pro thus far.

There are a lot of free-agent running backs next offseason so the Chargers may look to patch together something in free agency. But that won't be enough by itself and the Bolts will once again be taking a running back at some point in the draft.