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For the L.A. Chargers, the ceiling can’t be any closer. In two seasons under coach Brandon Staley they have had one trip to the playoffs, in which they lost in the Wild Card round. Now with star running back Austin Ekeler wanting out and aging weapons, they will be looking to refresh this roster through the draft.
Zach Charbonnet, HB, UCLA
K.J. Henry, Edge, Clemson
Mekhi Garner, CB, LSU
This Chargers team needs an injection of talent in the worst way. They have tried the veteran free agent route and it hasn’t exactly worked out. This draft will be more about rectifying mistakes made in the past and planning for the future.
With Ekeler essentially all but out of the building, the Chargers need to find a halfback that can be the dual threat Ekeler has been. UCLA 3-tool product Zach Charbonnet is in their backyard and has all the skills to be successful in the NFL. His ideal size and deceptive speed makes him a perfect backfield mate for Justin Herbert. Ekeler will be missed but Charbonnet will at least soften the mourning stage.
L.A. can also snatch up two blue chip prospects who have fallen down some boards due to injury or poor workouts.
K.J. Henry is for all intents and purposes the ideal guy you want on your team. He was a team captain at Clemson and has been lauded by coaches and teammates for his leadership. The skills match the intangibles with this guy, too. He has excellent strength at the point of attack and plays with a high motor no matter the situation. With Khalil Mack being older, getting a mature rookie like Henry to pair with Joey Bosa will be a godsend.
Veteran signee J.C. Jackson didn’t have the season that his contract dictates in his first season with LA.. Though he is far from washed up, getting a younger option with high upside would bode well for the Chargers. Mekhi Garner is a long corner with explosive potential. His combine showing wasn’t great but his tape shows a smooth athlete with mirror coverage capabilities. He is taking a tumble down boards, which makes him a prime candidate to be a steal for L.A.. When you play in a division with Patrick Mahomes, you need as many defenders as you can get.
The NFL Draft will have its fair share of surprises, but the Chargers could be the ones benefitting from the fireworks of draft weekend.