All signs are pointing to Chargers making grave mistake in 2024 NFL Draft

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers fans have been extremely excited for the 2024 NFL Draft as it is the first draft under the guidance of GM Joe Hortiz and head coach Jim Harbaugh. This is a new era of Chargers football and with the fifth pick, the Bolts have the chance to land a truly special prospect.

As the draft has gotten closer and closer the speculation around what the Bolts are going to do with the pick has only grown. There have been various different reports about what the team is going to do, including both staying put at five and trading down in the draft.

The latest rumor that has struck the Chargers draft process is the most surprising and might be the most realistic considering it emerged right before the draft. The odds for JC Latham being picked fifth overall drastically dropped Wednesday night and the conversation around the Chargers taking Latham has only grown since.

Multiple analysts have mocked Latham to the Chargers in their last mock drafts of the year. Adding more fuel to the fire was ESPN's Todd McShay, who made it seem like it was a guarantee that the Chargers would select a tackle with the fifth pick (whether it be Latham or Joe Alt).

Chargers drafting a tackle with the fifth pick would be a grave mistake

Whether it is Alt or Latham, the Chargers taking a tackle with the fifth pick is not the best move for the team. While it is understandable why the Chargers may want to beef the trenches, the team can improve more from taking a star wideout.

The Chargers can improve the offensive line more with the later rounds of the draft and better coaching more than they can improve the wide receiver room with those same things. There is talent there in the offensive line room. We have all seen it firsthand. This team just needs better depth and a better coaching staff to guide the room (which the team now has).

The Chargers do not have nearly as much talent at wide receiver. LA's best receiver is a bona fide WR3 on most offenses and he tends to get hurt a lot. The WR2 is a 2023 first-round pick who looks like a bust. The WR3 is a specialist who is great at returning kicks, but should be a WR5 at best in an offense.

Receiver is very obviously the move for the Bolts. But if the team is so intent on taking a tackle, it has to trade down and at least pick up extra capital. While taking Malik Nabers fifth is still better than trading down, at least with trading down the Chargers can get a first-round tackle and a first-round receiver.

Heck, the Chargers can probably still land Latham with the 11th pick if they were to trade down with Minnesota. Then, the Chargers could try and draft someone like Brian Thomas Jr. with the 23rd pick in the first round.

That is a far better route than just taking a tackle at five. Heck, just about any route is a better route than taking a tackle at five.