NFL Rumors: Chargers highlighted as team that can drastically alter 2024 NFL Draft

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

The 2024 NFL Draft is less than two weeks away and the NFL rumors are starting to swirl at a rapid pace that is hard to keep up with for the average NFL fan. Of every team in the first round, there is more speculation around what the LA Chargers are going to do with the fifth pick.

New head coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Joe Hortiz are tasked with creating a new era in Los Angeles and having a great draft class is the easiest way to do that. With a Houston Texans-like class from 2023, the Chargers can establish themselves as a true playoff team with Justin Herbert under center next season.

How the Chargers go about doing that is the big topic of debate. For some, the Chargers taking a franchise wide receiver with the fifth pick is the obvious move. For others, trading down and picking up extra draft capital is the way to go, especially with quarterback-hungry teams willing to move up in this quarterback-heavy draft class.

Nobody will truly know what is going to happen until the day of the draft, but there is a lot of evidence suggesting that the Chargers will indeed trade down in the trade. ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter added more fuel to that fire with a recent appearance on SportsCenter, specifically circling the Chargers as a prime trade-down candidate.

NFL Rumors: Chargers appear to be most likely team to trade down in 2024 NFL Draft

Schefter is the most plugged-in insider that the NFL has so if he is specifically highlighting the Chargers as a prime trade-down candidate then there is real smoke here. That does not mean the Chargers are guaranteed to trade down but this has exited the fan speculation phase.

If the Chargers were to trade down it would certainly be a polarizing move and put more pressure on the team's upcoming draft picks. Los Angeles absolutely cannot afford to miss on any early picks if the team trades down and passes on the opportunity to draft Marvin Harrison Jr. or Malik Nabers.

While there are plenty of talented prospects later in the first round, it does become a crapshoot the later in the first round a team goes. Let's say the Chargers get the 11th and 23rd pick from the Vikings as well as future draft capital.

The Bolts should be able to land a talented first-round prospect at 11, but if the team is waiting for 23 to draft a receiver then it opens the door to swing and miss. Every year there are back-end first-round prospects who look like finished projects who end up flopping. That will happen this year, too. Not every backend first-round prospect is going to be great, and the Chargers could end up with the wrong one.

That is the risk of trading back. Sure, on paper, the Chargers get more ammunition to build out the roster, but that ammunition means nothing if the team whiffs on the picks.

But alas, this is a risk the Chargers are at least considering taking. If the team wasn't at least considering it, there would not be as much conversation around a potential trade.