An Argument for the Chargers Trading Down in the NFL Draft

With Phillip Rivers balking at the prospect of relocating to Carson – who can blame him? – much of the Chargers draft talk is swirling around a potential trade up to snag Marcus Mariota.

Without wading into the quarterback drama, the Bolts might give some thought to trading down in this year’s draft.

The collection of talent is plenty strong in this year’s draft, but several position groups have far more depth than high-end talent. Take wide receiver. Amari Cooper is not Calvin Johnson, and no one argues otherwise. So should a team rush to the podium to spend a Top 10 selection on Cooper?

But teams drafting late in the first round or early in the second may have their choice of accomplished college wideouts like Jaelen Strong, Nelson Agholar, or Phillip Dorsett. Pair Dorsett with a Day 2 tight end like (Dorsett’s college teammate) Clive Walford, and a team’s listless passing game looks a lot healthier a few years down the line. I’m talking to you, Raiders.

The top offensive linemen, linebackers, and secondary players in this draft all have warts. But those position groups all feature quality players who should come off the board at the end of Day 1 and during Day 2.

The Chargers pick 17th. If the real draft shakes out anything like the mocks, top players like Todd Gurley, Randy Gregory, or Danny Shelton could fall into the teens. If so, the Bolts have to think strongly about taking one of them. But accumulating picks between 18 and 90, where teams will make hay in this draft, wouldn’t be such a bad Plan B.


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