With the Senior Bowl wrapping up this Saturday as the final of the three college football all-star showcases, the next event we have to look forward to is the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. That’s about two long months away but it’s never too early to start planning for future. And in this case, it’s getting your feelings ready to be hurt when the Chargers select the guy you really didn’t want them to pick in the first round.
If you ask some of the guys here at BFTB, you’re going to get a scattered assortment of answers. Not everyone wants a QB but you will see a theme to stay on the offensive side of the ball if that’s not the pick.
Who did I pick? Well, you’re going to have to keep reading if you want to find that out.
Here we go.
Louis Gorini: It’s early in the process, but I’d probably say Justin Herbert. A rookie QB will give the Chargers a lot of cap flexibility to re-sign their own (Hunter Henry) and perhaps a big time free agent offensive lineman to build a solid core around Herbert. For me, Herbert is better than some of the previous years QBs (Josh Allen and Josh Rosen). And unlike many rookie QBs Herbert will not have an empty cupboard when he arrives in L.A. He also gives L.A. something they haven’t had in a while, a mobile QB who can evade a pass rush thanks to his athleticism.
Matthew Stanley: Jedrick Wills OT Alabama. The Chargers are counting on Russell Okung to come back for at least one more year and apparently have faith that Trey Pipkins continue to develop and be the plan at LT. Wills has been a great RT for Bama and would be an instant LARGE upgrade over anything the Chargers have had at RT in 10+ seasons. He is great in pass pro, which is important in the AFC West. RT is the biggest weak point on the line and it’s time to solve it once and for all. It’s a move that will help regardless of the plan at QB.
Garrett Sisti: Justin Herbert=Ryan Tannehill. Would you take Tannehill 6th overall? The ‘19 Tannehill we saw this last season is the ceiling for Herbert. Don’t ask him to do too much, give him a strong O-Line and an elite RB to carry the load and Herbert becomes a serviceable NFL starter. The Chargers don’t have any of those things and Herbert isn’t worth 6th overall.
(He wouldn’t give a name. He just really wanted to drive home how much he doesn’t want Justin Herbert.)
Kenneth Arthur: What do I think the Chargers should do with pick 6? I know it’s not what they will do, but I think opening the phone lines for a trade down would be a spectacular move. My understanding is that it is a good class and I would suspect that even if the Chargers moved out of the top 10 or top 15, they’d still come away with the opportunity to draft a great player a la Derwin James in 2018. Given that nobody expects Tom Telesco to do that however, what’s the next best move? I think that there isn’t a player projected in the top 10-12 who wouldn’t help the Chargers outside of maybe one of the receivers. And since this WR class is supposed to be one of the best ever and it’s the one thing LA really shouldn’t address, I think that works in their favor; it may mean that more players who could help them will move down. But name any player talked about the top 6 - CB Jeffrey Okudah, S/LB Isaiah Simmons, OT Jedrick Willis, Mekhi Becton, Andrew Thomas, OG Tristan Wirfs, DT Derrick Brown, QB Tua Tagavailoa, Justin Herbert — name any one of those guys and tell me they wouldn’t help the Chargers at that position, or at least in theory. They’d all be welcome additions to a roster that needs plenty of welcome additions. Okudah? Hell yes. Simmons? Absolutely. An offensive lineman? Yes, we know it. The QB choice is obviously another one worth potentially taking a shot on and I couldn’t disagree with that either — but maybe only if you think that QB is also the best available player. And even if you were talking about an edge player like AJ Epenesa, Javon Kinlaw, K’Lavon Chaisson, you can never have too many pass rushers, plus Melvin Ingram is a free agent in 2021 and Joey Bosa has his own upcoming contract situation. I think the Chargers should take the best player available regardless of position, barring WR or RB.
(He didn’t have to go that hard, but he did it for US.)
Mike Murray: The Chargers desperately need to bolster their offensive line. Even if Pouncey and Okung return next season, the time is ticking on both of those guys and the Chargers need to be looking to the future. Andrew Thomas, Mekhi Becton, or Jedrick Wills. The Chargers should also hire an outside consultant to evaluate the talent of these guys. The Chargers have come up short on every o-line pick they have made since Telesco entered the building. For the love of God get some outside help on this one. Derrick Brown would also be a good selection here as well as the Chargers still need a man in the middle on defense. Isaiah Thomas is also a possibility here. I personally don’t like the pick, but this would be a Telesco move - talented guy who can play multiple spots. And, in conclusion, definitely not Herbert and please not a QB. If you don’t resign Rivers give Stick his chance.
Nate Lewkowitz: I want Tua only because in the limited game tape I’ve seen of the QB prospects we’ll have a chance at, he seems to have the most to offer. His ball placement seems to be remarkably consistent and that’s a trait that carries to the next level smoothly, but he has some deficiencies to his game too. If the Dolphins shock the football world by doing the right thing and drafting Tua, left tackle is the obvious answer and I currently think Becton has a higher ceiling than Thomas.
Michael Peterson: I have been incredibly torn on who the Chargers should pick at #6 this year. For starters, the team may feel forced into drafting a quarterback due to how high the selection is and I don’t think the team has any plans of drafting anywhere near this high for the foreseeable future. That put Lynn and Co. in a rough spot if they feel they need to pull the trigger on the future of the position. If the Chargers decide to pass on a QB, I would love to see them go with an offensive tackle or best player available should a blue-chip talent fall in the same manner of Derwin James. For the sake of being different, I would love to see the Chargers select Isaiah Simmons, the linebacker/safety hybrid from Clemson. At 6-foot-4 and 230~lbs., he can pretty much do everything that Derwin is already doing, and then some. I mean, could you imagine that line-up? It would be must-see television when the Chargers play and there’s nothing like breaking in a new stadium (and a fan base for that matter) with one of the most exciting players in the entire draft class. I say that the Bolts face the 2020 season with a quarterback that’s already on the roster and invest in a defense that SHOULD BE one of the most intimidating in the NFL. After all, the Niners this season have been a prime example of a phenomenal defense taking pressure off a quarterback who is still attempting to work-out a tendency to turn the ball over in critical moments.