First, the good news: The Los Angeles Chargers went 10-7 and qualified for the postseason for the first time in five seasons. The bad news: Once there, they blew a 27-0 lead and were shocked by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Chargers are one tier below the Chiefs, Bills and Bengals in the AFC hierarchy, but the progression under third-year coach Brandon Staley and fourth-year QB Justin Herbert is clear. What they accomplish at 2023 NFL Draft could help, or hinder, their efforts to get closer to the AFC’s Big 3.
Bookies.com oddsmaker Adam Thompson has used his resources of NFL contacts developed over 20 years covering the league and the NFL Draft to create his hypothetical NFL futures odds on who gets selected 21st by the Los Angeles Chargers in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Los Angeles Chargers 1st Round Pick Odds (No. 21)
Who Will The Chargers Take In 2023 NFL Draft?
The Chargers didn’t really lose a notable free agent this offseason, which should allow the team to hit the ground running in 2023. But the team isn’t without issues.
L.A. ranked in the bottom five of the NFL in both rushing yards and rush yards allowed, bullied in the trenches. Improvements across the offensive line could be made (minus center, where Corey Lindsey is entrenched as perhaps the top C in the game), and the same goes for the D-line.
The issue is where the Chargers pick at No. 21. The top three consensus offensive tackles will likely be gone by No. 21. Same goes for the top defensive tackles and edge rushers.
Other positions will have top-tier options, however. Despite the strong pass game, there were myriad issues with the pass game. Wide receivers provided bulk but not a lot of speed, and Mike Williams and Keenan Allen missed five and eight games, respectively. Zay Flowers of Boston College would provide great depth and a boost of speed behind the starters and should be there at No. 21 when the Chargers are on the clock.
Tight end is also considered a spot of need. All-around talent Michael Mayer of Notre Dame or de facto sixth O-lineman Darnell Washington of Georgia may both be available, too. Mayer could go far higher than here, while the 6-foot-7, 264-pound Washington should be around.
Bijan Robinson Odds To Be Drafted By Chargers
Then there’s running back. Austin Ekeler has sought permission to seek out a trade, frustrated in his attempts to get a long-term extension. That opens the possibility of L.A. going with Texas’ Bijan Robinson.
RELATED: Austin Ekeler Trade Odds
By all accounts, Robinson is the top RB and one of the premier offensive weapons in the NFL Draft, and the only surefire first-round RB in the Class of 2023. He’s been compared favorably to Saquon Barkley. If the Chargers can find a suitor for Ekeler, Robinson would be a heck of a replacement.
The Field is led by other wide receivers in the mix. Jordan Addison of USC and Jaxon Smith-Njigba of Ohio State add speed. The top D-linemen likely won’t be around at the Chargers’ pick, though it’s possible they reach for Will McDonald IV of Iowa or Calijah Kancey of Pittsburgh, fringe first-rounders.
Complete List of Chargers 2022 Draft Picks
- Round 1 (Pick 21)
- Round 2 (Pick 54)
- Round 3 (Pick 85)
- Round 4 (Pick 125)
- Round 5 (Pick 156)
- Round 6 (Pick 200)
- Round 7 (Pick 239)