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Should the Los Angeles Chargers Trade Down in 2017 NFL Draft?

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A Draft Day Trade Could Address Major Needs Immediately 

USA TODAY Sports

With the seventh overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft the…

We heard rumblings last year that the Chargers were looking at several options to trade their third overall pick for several other picks in future rounds. Thankfully, the team stayed put and selected one of our favorite players in Joey Bosa from The Ohio State University.

This year looks to be the same story but with no clear stud in this year’s draft – other than Myles Garrett, who will likely be the first overall pick – the Chargers could look to trade down and pick up several other picks for 2017 and 2018 draft.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco talked to NFL Network on Thursday and discussed the possibility of drafting Philip Rivers successor and trading down. “Even though we have our franchise quarterback, we always have to be looking toward the future. It's work we've done every year. We'll do work on all the quarterbacks. You never say never. You just never know in this business.”

“You have to be prepared in this business, whether you're picking at No. 7 or if we trade back, it's just hard to tell right now. We will scout every position like we don't have someone there, and we'll make determinations draft day on what we end up doing. But right now we're very happy with Philip. He's the leader of this football team, and we feel like we can win with him."

Needs at receiver, both offensive and defensive line, and secondary, the Chargers could address those needs better by trading down from the seventh overall pick. Personally, I would be okay with either option. I believe Safety Jamaal Adams from LSU or Malik Hooker from The Ohio State University would be great selections but I also wouldn’t mind Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas on the opposite side of Joey Bosa.

Let’s look at some potential options the Los Angeles Chargers could have by trading down:

First, we must realize that there is a big difference in trading for the top pick in the draft and seventh. The Chargers will not get a bulk of picks but if management is smart – keyword (If) – the team can strategically assess where the best player for a needed position will be at and move around there.

Scenario One

Chargers trade 7th overall and 5th round (151) pick to the Indianapolis Colts for the 15th overall pick, 4th round (121) and 2018 3rd round pick.

Hello, darkness my old friend...

Tom Telesco seems to miss Indianapolis as he continues to make player transactions with former Colts players each year. This wouldn’t be too bad of a package for the Chargers as they receive a key fourth round pick and a potential mid third round selection in 2018.

With this trade, the Chargers could target several players with the 15th overall pick including receivers Mike Williams/Corey Davis, OT Garett Bolles, linebackers Ruben Foster, Jabrill Peppers or defensive lineman Derek Barnett, Charles Harris. Lastly, a throw in the dark – OJ Howard, TE from Alabama. Truly Consider Howard learning from Antonio Gates and then having Howard and Hunter Henry as targets for Rivers. Call me crazy but I would lean on drafting Howard over a receiver with this selection.

Scenario Two

Chargers trade 7th overall and 4th round (113) to Detroit Lions in exchange for the 21st overall pick and 4th round (127), 6th round (205), and 2018 4th round pick.

The Chargers would have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating a trade with the Lions as Detroit seems more willing to move up in the draft. The Lions have similar needs as the Chargers with no consistent playmaker at receiver and lack of an offensive line.

The trade here is more cap friend for the Chargers as the estimated rookie contract difference (based on previous years) from seventh to the twenty-first pick is roughly $8.7M, per Spotrac.

The Chargers could select and offensive or a defensive lineman like Bolles, Cam Robinson or Charles Harris. Then select a receiver with the fourth-round pick like Ryan Switzer or Dede Westbrook.

Opinion

Overall, the Los Angeles Chargers front office and fans should feel optimistic with either option of staying or trading down. Selecting another elite pass rusher or dominant/rangy defensive back at seven or trading down and building more for the future while still addressing immediate needs.

What do you think the Chargers should do? Stay at seven or accumulate several draft picks and build for the future? I’ll be posting another mock draft including scenario one trade on my Twitter: @ShortSportsShow.