Chargers shouldn't draft an offensive lineman in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft
This is another position that some fans and analysts have targeted as a potential position of need for the Chargers. After all, Justin Herbert's line has been less than ideal this season and any time this team plays on primetime they seem to collapse; not to mention whenever the team needs a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter.
There is no denying that the play from the offensive line has been subpar. Zion Johnson has not been who the team was hoping he would be thus far in his career. Jamaree Salyer is fine when he is the weak link of the line but when everyone else struggles, his struggles are highlighted. Trey Pipkins has regressed and most of all, Corey Linsley has not been playing. That has had a huge impact on recognizing blitz packages and shifting pass protections.
All of that points to the Chargers taking an offensive lineman but it just is not sensible to use a third first-round pick in four years on the position group, for multiple reasons.
First of all, Pipkins is not going anywhere, at least for the 2024 season. The Chargers are not going to pay Pipkins $8.75 million to be a swing tackle. Using that cap space, and using a first-round pick on another tackle, is not good resource management. The team cannot cut him, either, as it would actually cost LA more cap space. For better or worse, Pipkins is starting next year.
As far as center goes, nobody outside of the Chargers building really knows what Linsley's long-term future is with his health so it is unfair to speculate. Even if the Chargers do need another center, using a first-round pick on one simply is not feasible. Many of the best centers in the league were taken outside of the first.
Again, this does not mean that the Chargers won't take an offensive lineman in the 2024 NFL Draft. But they definitely are not using a first-round pick on one.