The Chargers have needed an influx of talent in the running game for a few years now. Before Brandon Staley took the field for his first game as the Chargers head coach, he went out and upgraded the offensive line with guys like Corey Linsley and Matt Feiler before drafting Rashawn Slater in the first round.
A year later, he drafted both Zion Johnson and Jamaree Salyer, two players who also look to be in the long-term plans for the Chargers offense.
Now, it might be time for the Chargers to pull the trigger on acquiring a premium player to run behind that line.
In the latest mock draft by Bucky Brooks of NFL.com, the senior draft analyst has the Chargers selecting running back Bijan Robinson out of Texas at No. 21 overall. Robinson is coming off a season where he rushed for 1,580 yards and 18 touchdowns while averaging 6.1 per carry en route to winning this year’s Doak Walker Award (nation’s top running back) and being named a consensus First-Team All-American.
Bijan Robinson will be so much fun to watch on Sundays pic.twitter.com/dGZjtIGHQB— Barstool College Football Show (@BarstoolCFB) December 19, 2022
During his three-year career at Texas, Robinson racked up 3,231 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns on the ground. As a pass catcher, he caught 60 passes for 805 yards and another eight scores.
Brooks notes that the Chargers could look to become a “tougher” offense by adding a big-bodied rusher with a propensity for making the big play. While we all know that Ekeler is pound-for-pound the strongest guy on the team, and he can find success between the tackles at times, it wouldn’t hurt to add a 220-pound runner for those types of situations.
Now, of course the Chargers did just draft 215-pound Isaiah Spiller in the fourth round of last year’s draft, and 211-pound Rountree the year before that, but neither of those players tested nearly as well as Robinson is expected to later this draft season.
But as it stands, that’s all speculation. Joshua Kelley showed great improvement this year (4,2 YPC) when healthy, but it remains to be seen if he’s solidified the RB2 role behind Ekeler.
This is what Josh Kelley has done since Day 1 of training camp. Vision, decisiveness, north and south and finishing strong. I think he deserves more touches. pic.twitter.com/NV950n26Mu— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) September 20, 2022
In the comments below, let me know all of your thoughts below on this selection and whether or not you’d be content with the Chargers picking Robinson in the first round!